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Uganda-DRC Border Closure Curtails Crimes on L. Albert

Collins Bamuturaki, a fisherman at Butiaba Landing Site in Buliisa district says that fishermen have been at peace since the border closure. He demands that the border closure period should further be extended to protect Ugandan fishermen from armed Congolese militia.
Fishing boats parked at Kaiso landing site in Hoima district.

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The closure of the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo is helping in combating insecurity across Lake Albert.  The border was closed, on the orders President Yoweri Museveni, as one of the measures to control the spread of COVID-19. 

Now fishermen operating on the Lake Albert in the districts of Buliisa, Hoima and Kikuube say that the closure has reduced reports of insecurity and crime on the Lake.  They argue that before the closure, armed Congolese militiamen would freely cross into Uganda, to rob fishing gear and attack fishermen, a trend which ended with the closure. 

Collins Bamuturaki, a fisherman at Butiaba Landing Site in Buliisa district says that fishermen have been at peace since the border closure. He demands that the border closure period should further be extended to protect Ugandan fishermen from armed Congolese militia.    

Lugungu //Cue in; “Kade wudi waceri… 

Cue out…yatyo ya tyo.”//      

Ali Oryema, a fisherman at Fofo Landing Site in Hoima district says the Congolese militiamen are finding it difficult to cross to Uganda to cause havoc since the lake is currently being patrolled and monitored by armed personnel following the border closure. 

Alur//cue in; “Ni ai ma…

Cue out…Tic mwa ceke.”//   

Jariekonga Bamsa, another fisherman says that if the border had been closed earlier on, fishermen would not have suffered in the hands of the Congolese militiamen who terrorized them over the last two years. 

Alur //Cue in;”Ka juma fodi… 

Cue out…giromo bino ungo.”//    

Julius Manyireki, a fisherman at Kyehoro landing site in Kikuube district says the border closure is long overdue. He says that closing the borders would have prevented smuggling of illegal products from the DRC into the country.      

Runyoro //Cue in;”Kuruga ba kingire… 

Cue out…Muno Eyambire muno.”//    

Hoima Resident District Commissioner-RDC Samuel Kisembo acknowledges that no single report of a crime has been recorded since the closure of the border, unlike the past where a day would not elapse without an attack on Ugandans by armed militiamen. 

There have been persistent attacks on Ugandan fishermen by suspected armed Congolese militiamen on the Lake Albert killing and robbing fishing gear including boats, fishing nets, Engines and Hooks among others since February 2018. 

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