Lake Albert Fishermen Pay Ransom to Congolese Militiamen

Some fishermen who lost their boat Engines to suspected Congolese militiamen on the Lake Albert waters in Hoima district last week have succumbed to ransom demands and recovered their engines after paying ransom.

The Congolese militiamen raided Lake Albert waters near the Kaiso landing site in Hoima district on March 21, 2021 robbing 19 boat Engines.

The armed militiamen dressed in DRC Military Uniform raided the lake, put several fishermen on gunpoint, and ordered them to surrender the boat engines to them.

They later crossed to DR Congo with the robbed boat engines and started asking for ransom to have the engines returned to the owners.

Fred Mujuni, the Chairman of Kaiso landing site fishing community says the Congolese criminals released six of the nineteen boat engines after their owners each paid USD 500 to have their boat engine released.

He says the other boat engines are still being held by the suspected militiamen after their owners have failed to raise the ransom.

According to Mujuni, the six boat engines were released to the owners on Sunday evening.

Mujuni has appealed to the government to intervene and compel the Congolese government authorities to ensure that the remaining robbed engines are returned at no cost.

Julius Hakiza, the Albertine region police spokesperson says that security teams are already in talks with their DRC counterparts to have the confiscated engines returned to the affected fishermen at no cost.

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