Suspected Congolese Militiamen have shot three Ugandan fishermen on Lake Albert. The incident happened near Senjojo landing site in Buhuka parish Kyangwali Sub County in Kikuube district around 5 am on Monday morning.
The injured fishermen are Robert Amukuhikiriza, Deo Busobozi and Seremos Byaruhanga, all attached to Nsunzu B landing site in Buhuka parish. They sustained injuries in the hand, leg and back. The fishermen were fishing when the suspected Congolese militiamen struck.
Reginal Ngamita, the Buhuka Parish LC 2 Chairperson told Uganda Radio Network in an Interview that the suspected militiamen raided the lake between 4 am and 5 am on Monday morning. They placed Ugandan fishermen at gunpoint before ordering them to surrender their fishing gears including engines, fishing nets and engines.
He says the trio tried to resist the orders of the militiamen prompting them to open fire.
Ngamita says the other fishermen rushed to the rescue of the trio when they heard that carrying for help after being abandoned by their attackers. Brian Byaruhanga, one of the fishermen, who escaped unhurt, explained that the ruthless militiamen threatened to throw them in the lake Albert if they make alarm.
The injured were first rushed to Buhuka Health Center III for first Aid before they were transferred to Kituti Health Center IV where they are hospitalized with severe bullet wounds. Joseph Ringwegi, the Buhuka Parish Councilor explains that the current situation on Lake Albert is worrying, saying fishermen are worried for their dear lives. He says that Congolese militiamen have taken over the security of the lake.
Julius Hakiza, the Albertine Region police spokesperson has confirmed the attack but declined to divulge details. “It is true three people were shot and injured on the lake and we are investigating. More details will come,” said Hakiza.
Amlan Tumusiime, the Kikuube Resident District Commissioner-RDC declined to comment, saying that he was still locked up in a crisis meeting. Attacks by the suspected DR Congo militiamen on Ugandan fishermen have been rampant since 2018.
In November 2018, Congolese Militiamen shot seven Ugandan fishermen on Lake Albert. The incident occurred near Kaiso Landing site in Buseruka Sub County in Hoima district as the militia raided the lake to rob fishing gear.
On July 9, 2021, four suspected Congolese militiamen raided Lake Albert in Kikuube district robbing eight boat engines and fishing nets. The attack occurred at around 5 am near Bugoma landing site in Buhuka parish, Kyangwali sub-county in Kikuube district.
In March 2021, suspected armed militiamen raided Lake Albert abducting 16 Ugandan fishermen. The attack occurred near Kaiso landing site in Kabaale Sub County. They also robbed four fishing boats, four-engine boats and several sets of fishing nets from the fishermen.
They only regained their freedom after their families paid a ransom of USD 50 each. On March 21, 2021, the suspected militiamen again raided the lake robbing 19 boat engines. In April 2020, UPDF gunned down two suspected Congolese militiamen on Lake Albert in Hoima district in a gunfire exchange. URN