Two arrested by DR Congo rangers



  • Mr Sunday Justus and Mr Bendan Mwesigye were arrested on Monday while fishing in the lake, according to Mr Muzaifa Baribaseka, their employer.

By Ronald Kabanza

Tension continues to pile in Rweshama fishing village on Lake Edward in Bwambara Sub-county, Rukungiri District following the arrest of two more Ugandans by Congolese game rangers.

Mr Sunday Justus and Mr Bendan Mwesigye were arrested on Monday while fishing in the lake, according to Mr Muzaifa Baribaseka, their employer.

The boat and nets they were using were also taken.
“I have talked with the ‘kidnappers’ and they are asking for Shs1 million to have my things and workers returned to me,” Mr Baribaseka said on Tuesday.

Lake Edward is shared by Uganda and DR Congo.
It is, however, not clear whether the two were fishing on the DR Congo side.
Capt Favorite Rwogamu, the Uganda marine forces spokesperson, said they are still investigating the reason behind the arrest of the fishermen.

“We are already in talks with the ‘kidnappers’ to have our people released. But I am cautioning locals against dealing with ‘kidnappers’ directly because whenever they deal with them, they always pay some money in exchange for their people,” Capt Rwogamu said.

He added: “Let  the government of Uganda work on their behalf.”
However, Mr Isaac Tugamisirize, the councillor for Kikarara Parish, said the locals are hesitant to rely on government’s effort to rescue their people, saying it has not helped in the past cases of ‘kidnap’.ADVERTISEMENT

“Our people are dying in Congo because of the government’s failure to rescue them. We used to deal with the ‘kidnappers’ ourselves, but apparently we are not allowed to deal with them,” he said.
He added: “We are just told to leave it to government but it has done nothing concerning rescuing our people that were kidnapped in August this year. Only one has been released and the rest are still in the hands of the Congolese government and we even hear that some of our people are already dead.”

On August 3, David Mucunguzi, Innocent Twinomujuni, Shabul Nabasa, Jackson Tumuhamye, Benjamin Tusasibwe, Nicholas Sunday, Kenneth Kabasharira, Nicholas Tumwesigye, Patrick Bwiho, and Jackson Musinguzi were arrested by armed people from DR Congo while fishing on Lake Edward.
They were reportedly fishing on the DR Congo side of the lake.

Efforts by government of Uganda to have them released have failed and nine of them are currently imprisoned at Rwindi Prison in North Kivu.
Mr Bernard Baingana, the marine operations officer at Lake Edward and Lake George, said only one person was released but did not provide details of how he was freed.

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