Uganda, Congolese security forces agree on joint operations on Lake Albert

Security teams from Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have agreed to carry out joint operations on Lake Albert in a bid to stop militiamen from attacking fishermen.

Shuaib Toko, Resident District Commissioner for Pakwach, told Xinhua by telephone on Tuesday that representatives from the Ugandan army, police and immigration met a security team from the Congolese territory of Mahagi on Monday. The meeting took place in Pakwach in northwestern Uganda.

“The meeting followed the arrest of Congolese militiamen who are still in Ugandan police custody. During the meeting, we agreed that security operations be suspended for now and where necessary, they should be carried out jointly,” Toko said.

He said the decision was reached following reports that Congolese militiamen who claimed to be government operatives robbed Ugandan fishermen.

“We need to ensure that our citizens are not being harassed. If there is any illegal activity on the waters, we shall tackle it jointly,” Toko added. 

He said the teams also agreed to restrain their countrymen from attacking citizens of other countries and that regular cross-border meetings would be held to share intelligence information.

Nine Congolese militiamen were arrested by Ugandan security on Saturday following an outcry by Ugandan fishermen. The militia are said to have confiscated boat engines and fishing nets from the Ugandan fishermen and later asked for ransom of about 200 U.S. dollars per person.

Toko said the meeting also agreed that all stolen items, including boat engines and fishing nets, should be returned to their owners by the militiamen. –Xinhua 

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