By Andrew Irumba
Hostilities being meted out unto Ugandans operating busineness on Lake Albert by armed miliatia the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are increasing every other day.
Spy Uganda has learnt that three Ugandan Fishermen were shot dead by suspected Congolese Militiamen on the Lake Albert, near Kaiso Landing site in Tonya parish, on Friday night.
The deceased who are suspected to have been murdered by Lendu militiamen, have only been identified by police as Isaac, Aduba and Stoni, who were operating at Kaiso Landing site.
One of the survivors of the attack identified as Ajaru Chobidongo, told police that the suspected militiamen, who were dressed on military camouflage, attacked their boat and put them on gunpoint, before ordering them to surrender their fishing gear.
“I jumped into the water and started swimming before the Militia gunned shot my three colleagues,” Ajaru said.
He was rescued by other fishermen who heard him screaming for help. The militiamen fired several bullets as they headed to the DRC side after the deadly attack.
Gilbert Tumwesige, a fisherman at Kaiso landing site faulted Uganda’s security organs for not helping Ugandan fishermen who continue suffering in the hands of armed DRC Militiamen.
Julius Hakiza, the Albertine region police spokesperson, said the police and army have since launched investigations into the attack as they hunt for the killers.
However, it should be noted that there have been constant attacks on fisherment plying business along L. Albetr since last years, which have left many Ugandans killed and others kidnapped.
On March 13, 2019, armed Militia staged three different attacks on the Lake Albert in Buliisa district, during which they stole 30 boat engines, plus fishing gear worth hundreds of millions from fishermen. The attacks were near Walukuba, Bugoio and Butiaba landing sites. They allegedly put the fishermen at gunpoint and ordered them to surrender all the boat engines to them. They later crossed with the Engines to DRC.
On March 1, 2019, three suspected Congolese Militiamen raided Kyehoro landing site in Kikuube district and abducted Pith Opio, a fisherman attached to Kyehoro landing site. They crossed with him to DRC. He was later freed after his relatives paid ransom to the suspected Militia.
On November 12, 2018, DRC Militia raided the lake and hacked to death Five Ugandan fishermen before fleeing with their fishing gear.
On November 18, 2018 the same suspected Congolese Militia again raided the lake and gunned down seven Ugandan fishermen. This attracted the attention of the Chief of Defense forces-CDF David Muhoozi who rushed to Kaiso landing site in Hoima district for a fact finding mission.
The attacks have however continued unabated and more are anticipated to happen in the near future unless security forces in Uganda increase their vigilance.