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UPDF releases 36 Kenyan fishermen

FILE PHOTO: Fishing boats and gear were impounded by UPDF

Busia, Kenya | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) Marines have handed back over 36 Kenyan fishermen arrested in Namayingo district.

The suspects were arrested from different landing sites in site in Namayingo such as Hama, Kandenge, Singla and Gorofa among others where they were found engaged in illegal fishing practices. The officers also impounded 15 boats and an unspecified number of fishing gears.

Capt. Jacob Obbo, the UPDF commander of Marine operation in Eastern port Victoria, who handed over the fishermen, said that they have registered several cases of illegal fishing practice by Kenyan fishermen on the Ugandan side. He says that practice is common in Namayingo and Busia districts.

He explained that the fishermen come at night to fish using illegal fishing gears and catch undersized fish. Capt. Obbo called for joint operations with their Kenyan counterparts to eliminate the illegal practices.

Abraham Kibwoya, the Deputy Busia County Commissioner (Kenya) who received the suspects at Namayingo police station, said they have had agreed with their Ugandan counterparts to stop illegal cross border activities.

Godfrey Jonah Mbigit, the Namayingo Deputy Resident District Commissioner, said there is a need to study further issues pertaining to illegal activities at the border. He said they had discussed with their Kenyan counterparts how to work together.

Some of the suspects denied having entered the Ugandan side to fish, arguing that there no proper boundary demarcations between the two countries.



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