The seven suspected militiamen, four of them dressed in the DRC military uniform, placed several fishermen at gunpoint and ordered them to surrender their fishing gear. After executing their mission, they crossed to the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to Ethien Arua, one of the affected fishermen.
Wanzalla Okechi, one of the affected fishermen who is still pursuing the release of his boat engine, fishing boat and 14 sets of fishing nets told Uganda Radio Network in a telephone interview this morning that the militiamen are demanding US$ 500 to release his fishing gear.
Henry Irumba, the LC 1 Chairperson Kaiso Landing site, says the families of the affected fishermen are experiencing untold suffering since they can no longer afford proving for their families.
The boats and Engines were confiscated in April this year after the boat owners defied a night-time ban on fishing activities on Lake Albert occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19 Pandemic.
Robert Ngabirano, the Officer in charge of Marine police at Sebigoro landing site told Uganda Radio Network on Saturday morning that the militiamen who were dressed in Congolese military uniform crossed to the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC after executing their mission.
John Munguriek, one of the affected fishermen told Uganda Radio Network on Wednesday that the attack has left him with nothing. He says the Congolese attackers took his boat engine valued at Shillings 3 million.
John Stephen Ekoom, the Hoima Resident District Commissioner, explains that the attackers are not Congolese government soldiers as earlier alleged. He says that the gangs operate along the shores of Lake Albert.
In the wee hours of Thursday morning, the Armed Congolese soldiers raided the lake Albert waters taking off with five boat Engines, four boats fishing nets and fish near Kaiso and Kyehoro landing site in Kabwoya and Buseruka sub-counties in Hoima district.
Robert Ngabirano, the officer in- charge of Marine Police at Sebigoro Landing site in Kabwoya Sub County, says that on Thursday, a team comprising of security officials, fishermen and Hoima district officials traveled to Tchomia in DRC and met the officials.
The operation to stop fishermen using illegal gear has led to the arrest of four men from Malembo and Kalokoso landing sites in Bukakata Sub County, Masaka. The operation was led by the Fish Law Enforcement officers with the help of police.
The fishermen put up a spirited resistance during the Wednesday operation. They attempted to fight the enforcement officers with machetes and stones. The fishermen were supported by the angry spouses before they were overpowered.