UPC demands removal of UPDF from L. Kyoga as fishermen are tortured

Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) party chairman for Amolatar district is demanding for immediate removal of UPDF from Lake Kyoga.

The demand comes after what authorities and fishermen termed as “continued violation of human rights and freedom by men in uniform”.

Amulaferi Ongwen, the district party chairman adds that the UPDF activities in the lake are big concerns, full of human rights violation.

He said government should compensate fishermen who lost their boats and fishing nets during the UPDF operations because it was the “only assets that could feed them”.

Ongwen blamed the Amolatar district leadership particularly, Members of Parliament that they seem to be behind this operation because up to date none of them have reacted against the UPDF action.

Last month, the ex-vice chairperson LC5 Amolatar, Geoffry Ocen who represents locals of Aputi Sub County in the district council, pointed fingers at the leadership of Amolatar “as the brain to this action”.

The Kyoga County MP, Anthony Okello Tango has appealed to fishermen who were displaced from the landing site to stay calm since “they will table the issue to Parliament for discussions”.

Okello, in an interview with our reporter said that the “brutality and the displacement of those who were in the landing site by the soldiers have increased poverty among the locals”.

He said displacing people from the landing site has affected business in the area and left many fishermen and their families stranded.

In April 2019, leaders suspended fishing activities on Lake Kyoga for two months, with fishermen asked then to rally behind army.

Subsequently, in May this year, UPDF raided Kibuye landing site on Lake Kyoga and destroyed 400 boats and dozens of fishing nets.

UPDF presence and management of major lakes in the country is a directive from Uganda’s President, Museveni Yoweri.

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