Armed personnel from the DR Congo have over the last weekend again perpetrated a raid into Ugandan waters in Lake Albert, breaking previous agreements over the ownership of Rukwanzi Island.
According to reports, they abducted several Ugandans, holding them hostage while accusing them to “have fished in our [Congolese] waters.”
Trustworthy sources, however, denied this saying the actual border is now often demarcated with floating markers and the Ugandan security forces too patrol the area to prevent Ugandan fishermen and traders to stray across the invisible border lines on the lake.
The area is of late of greater interest to the regime in Kinshasa since oil has been discovered on the Ugandan side of Lake Albert.
Reports were also filed in the local Ugandan media that the captors have demanded several million Uganda shillings in ransom, indicating that they may not have been paid by their political masters in Kinshasa for a while now and having to resort to lawlessness again to make a living.
It was in 2007 that Congolese armed personnel killed a British expatriate working on the oil exploration site, which was later established to have happened inside Ugandan waters by GPS readings taken from the equipment used by the expat and his team. It could never be established if those responsible were actually ever taken to court in the Congo, not likely though going by the record of the regime in recent years.
In spite of this lamentable situation full diplomatic relations were formally restored this week between Uganda and the DR Congo after a 15-year break owing to the hostile behavior of our neighbors and the harboring of dissidents, militias and terror groups working against Uganda’s interests.