DRC releases fishing gear seized in Lake Albert operations. Authorities in DR. Congo have released the first batch of fishing gear seized from Ugandan fishermen on Lake Edward.
The items include nine boat engines and three fishing boats. They have promised to release more fishing gear including fishing nets, boats, and boat engines after a verification exercise.
The Congolese authorities hand over the fishing gear to Ugandan authorities led by the Kasese Resident District Commissioner, Joe Walusimbi, and other political officials on Wednesday at Kasindi Landing Site in DRC.
Last week, Uganda released 207 boat engines to DRC authorities that were seized from Congolese fishermen on the same lake.
The administrator Ben-territory in DRC Col. Charles Ehuta Omeonga, said the act was in fulfillment of bilateral meetings between Presidents Felix Tshisekedi and Yoweri Museveni aimed at solidifying relations between the two sister states.
He said the two countries are continuing to discuss economic integration, peace, and border security in the best interest of their economies.
According to the Congolese government, Kampala and Kinshasa armies have also started joint operations in DR Congo’s east against the rebel groups terrorizing both countries. Kasese RDC said Uganda is more than ready to cooperate with DRC on matters of security and economic development.
He said the current gestures also reflect on the readiness of the political heads towards working together for the good of the region.
John Bosco Kananura, the mayor Katwe-Kabatoro asked the Congolese army to restrict the operations of their fishermen to control fish extinction. He also pleaded for the faster verification of the remaining gears that were confiscated.
Ismail Mwangi, whose engine and the boat were impounded by DRC Marine officers at Kayanja landing site said he has been out of the business since 2019.
He is hopeful that the reciprocal gesture between the two countries may improve the relationship among the fishermen on both sides. With a population of 84 million, DRC is one of Uganda’s biggest trading partners in the region.
Uganda is currently banking on infrastructure development in DRC to strengthen relations, which liquefied under former president Joseph Kabila.
Political commentators say the ongoing efforts have been helped by a new outward-looking regional policy from Kinshasa under President Tshisekedi.
Since taking office last January, Tshisekedi has visited most of his Country’s neighbors with emphasis on building both economic and security ties.