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Nine Congolese militiamen arrested on Lake Albert

By Benedict Okethwengu

Added 18th August 2019 04:34 PM

The suspected militiamen who were wearing Congolese army uniform were netted in a joint operation by the Police and the army

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The suspected militiamen who were wearing Congolese army uniform were netted in a joint operation by the Police and the army

A security officer talking to residents of Dei landing site, after arresting the suspected Congolese militiamen. PHOTO: Benedict Okethwengu 
 
Nine suspected Congolese militiamen have been arrested by the Ugandan security forces on Lake Albert, which is shared by Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo,  a Ugandan official said on Sunday.
 
The development follows several complaints from fishermen especially at Dei landing site in Pakwach district over the presence of the gunmen who have reportedly been robbing and extorting money from them. 
 
The suspected militiamen who were wearing Congolese army uniform were netted in a joint operation by the Police and the army as they tried to flee back to the Congo side. 
 
The suspects had robbed and looted items worth millions of shillings and four motorboats from Ugandan fishermen the previous night.
 
"Nine Congolese militiamen have been arrested and are currently in detention in Pakwach police station. Two guns with 59 rounds of ammunition have also been seized by the Ugandan security team," Swaib Toko, the Pakwach RDC said.
 
The LC3 chairperson Panyimur sub-county Shaban Ofoy said, "Its, not the first time this is happening. It has become a real business for the Congolese militia. They pick our people and their properties for ransoms and you know, the fishing community has lots of money. I am happy for our men in uniform. They have done a good job."
 
However, a Congolese delegation was at Dei on Sunday to negotiate the release of the suspects. But the RDC and other leaderS in Pakwach insist that the suspects be produced in court.
 
Frank Muzora, the Pakwach District Police Commander said a charge of aggravated robbery and illegal entry will be preferred against the suspects.
 
Lake Albert has seen a rise in tension between the two neighbours over the years who disagree over the sharing of aquatic resources especially fish.
 

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