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Fishermen Shot By Congolese Militiamen

Kikuube RDC Amlan Tumusiime visiting victims of the attack at Hoima Regional Referral Hospital on Monday. (Photo by Peter Abaanabasazi)

HOIMA – Three fishermen operating their fishing activities on Nsunzu B and Bugoma landing site on the shores of Lake Albert in Buhuka parish, Kyangwali Sub-County Kikuube District, are nursing bullet wounds at Hoima Regional Referral Hospital in Hoima City that were inflicted by militiamen from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The injured fishermen are  Byaruhanga Serimosi, Busobozi  Deo and Amukuhikiriza Barongo Robert, all residents of Kapampi village in Kigorobya Sub-County, Hoima district.

Speaking to Spice FM while at his sickbed, Byaruhanga said that, they were attacked by a group of 6 men armed with five guns as they were fishing on Lake Albert on Monday morning at around 2 am.

Byaruhanga and Busobozi were shot in the leg and hand respectively while Barongo who is in coma was shot in the shoulders.

According to him, shortly after they started casting their nets, the three fishermen saw a boat in the distance coming to their direction.

“We stopped casting our nets and decided to first go and meet the people on the boat which was coming to our side thinking that they were our colleagues. Unfortunately, as we approached the assailant’s boat, the gunmen opened fire on our boat” he said.

We tried to escape from the assailants but we could not manage after our boat sailor boat jumped off the boat and left it to freely move in the direction of the wind.

Byaruhanga noted that after 20 minutes of shooting, the gunmen approached their boat and threatened to throw them in the lake if they made an alarm.

He said that the ruthless militiamen robbed their money, fishing gears, tanks and boat engines and after their mission they took off and crossed to Joo landing site in Bunia district Ituri Province in the Eastern part of the DR Congo.

He added other fishermen rushed to the rescue when they heard them crying for help after being abandoned at the lake by their attackers.

“They would have killed us but we were lucky that many of the bullets hit the boat wood after we laid down in the boat to save our lives” he narrated.

The injured were first rushed to Buhuka Health Center III for first aid before they were transferred to Hoima Regional Referral Hospital where they are hospitalized with severe bullet wounds.

Ringwegi Joseph, 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.

He noted that similar attacks occurred at Bugoma landing site Buhuka Parish Kyangwali sub-county on Saturday last week, where the militiamen dressed in DR Congo military uniform raided the lake and placed several fishermen at gunpoint, and robbed them of their fish, engine boats and other fishing gears.

Amlan Tumusime , the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) of Kikuube visited the victims at Hoima Regional Referral Hospital on Monday afternoon and condemned the continued attacks on Ugandan fishermen.

He promised to consult to ensure that they organize cross boarder meeting with their counterparts from the DRC government to get a way of addressing the continued attacks on robberies on Ugandan waters of Lake Albert.

Attacks by the suspected DR Congo militiamen on Ugandan fishermen have been rampant since 2018.

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