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Marine police impounds 11 boats on Lake Albert

FILE PHOTO: Marine police patrol

Kikuube, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Marine police officers have impounded 11 boats from fishermen at Sebigoro landing site in Kikuube district. It is alleged that the boat owners had defied a night-time ban on fishing activities on Lake Albert in the districts of Hoima, Kagadi, Kikuube and Buliisa.

At the time of the ban, the district security committee observed that some Ugandan fishermen were crossing to the Democratic Republic of Congo where they were mixing freely with communities on the other side before crossing back to Uganda. This, the committee said was a risk to Ugandans at a time when the country was locked down to contain the spread of coronavirus disease.

But despite the ban, some fishermen at Sebigoro landing site illegally continued with normal fishing prompting operations by the marine police. The boats were impounded in two different operations conducted on Monday and Tuesday.

Robert Ngabirano, the Head of Marine police in Hoima and Kikuube districts says that some fishermen have become unruly and openly defied the presidential directives on the control of COVID-19. He says that the impounded boats will only be returned to the owners after the lockdown has been lifted.

In April, the police arrested 10 boat operators on Lake Albert for allegedly sneaking Congolese nationals into the country illegally amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The boat operators were arrested after they were implicated by residents for transporting passengers from the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC into Uganda during the night hours.

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