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Two Suspected Congolese Militiamen Gunned Down on Lake Albert

The deceased militiamen have been identified as Ozelle Opio 25 and one only identified as Singa. Their bodies are currently lying in Hoima Mortuary.
Fishing boats at Kaiso Landing site in Hoima district. Some of the boats have been robbed by the suspected Militiamen. Photo by Emmanuel Okello.

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Two suspected Congolese militiamen have been gunned down on the lake Albert waters in Hoima district.

The duo was gunned down in a fire exchange between the militia and the Uganda peoples defense forces-UPDF soldiers on Thursday evening at around 4pm.

Five others have also been arrested by the UPDF while on the lake. The deceased militiamen have been identified as Ozelle Opio 25 and one only identified as Singa. Their bodies are currently lying in Hoima Mortuary.

The five arrested have been identified as Balaka Jarenga 35, Makuru Onjoka 36, Claude Nguma 29, Kakuru Kwamire and Kapaseka Otika39. They are all currently detained at Hoima central police station.

The UPDF operatives also recovered three AK 47 guns with 47 rounds of ammunition that the militiamen were using at the time they were rounded up.    

It is alleged that the armed Congolese Militiamen raided the lake Albert waters and crossed near Kaiso landing site in Buseruka sub county Hoima district where they put several Ugandan fishermen at gun point ordering them to surrender to them fishing gear including boats, fishing nets, engines and hooks among others.    

However, some of the Ugandan fishermen alerted UPDF who rushed to their rescue. Before the UPDF soldiers could reach them, the suspected militiamen opened fire leading to fire exchange between them and the UPDF and in the process two of the Militiamen were put out of action.

Julius Hakiza, the Albertine region police spokesperson says no any Uganda peoples defense forces-UPDF soldier was shot or injured during the fire exchange adding that investigations have commenced into the matter.    

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Samuel Kisembo, the Resident District Commissioner-RDC Hoima says they are currently in contact with Jean Saidi Bamanisa, the governor of Ituri province in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo to trace for the origin of the militiamen.  

Attacks on Ugandan fishermen by Congolese militiamen are rampant on Lake Albert waters.   Dozens of Ugandan fishermen have lost their fishing gear including boats, fishing nets, boat engines, hooks and money to the militiamen in the past two years.         

After robbing the fishing gear, the militiamen demand for payment to return them. On December 25, 2019, suspected Congolese militiamen raided Lake Albert and robbed Ugandan fishermen of their valuables.

In March 2019, suspected Congolese militiamen staged three attacks near Bugoigo, Walukuba and Butiaba landing sites in Buliisa district where they robbed 30 boat Engines from Uganda fishermen at gunpoint.   

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