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Family Members Fault Government for Abandoning Ugandans Kidnapped by Congolese Gunmen

A section of families whose relatives were in July this year kidnapped by suspected Congolese militants on Lake Edward in Rukungiri district are faulting government for refusing to intervene to secure the release of their kidnapped family members.

The group also says government has not come out to inform them if the captives are still alive or dead.

On 28th July 2020, suspected Congolese militants kidnapped 10 Ugandan fishermen who were fishing on Lake Edward in Rukungiri district.

According to locals, the kidnapped fishermen were identified as David Mucunguzi, Innocent Twinomujuni, Shabul Nabasa, Jackson Tumuhamye, Benjamin Tusasibwe, Nicholas Sunday, Kenneth Kabasharira, Nicholas Tumwesigye, Patrick Bwiho and Jackson Musinguzi.

Mustafa Aribariho, one of the fishermen said the victims had gone to the lake with six boats to monitor the nets they had cast.

However, militias emerged and held them at gunpoint before crossing to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Only one boat was later released.

Capt. Favorite Rwogamu, the Uganda Marine Forces spokesperson told our reporter on phone that the kidnappers later demanded ransom to release the fishermen.

He, however, said they had grown tired of sending money to the militias, adding that the army this time resorted to negotiations with the Congolese government to secure the release of the fishermen.

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Speaking about the incident, 50-year-old Sarapio Chrismas who is the father of 24-year-old Innocent Twinomujuni one of the captives faulted the government for not taking the matter seriously.

Sarapio says initially, government gave them hope that were ongoing talks with the Congolese government, but has since gone silent.

“I thought I would see my some within the next week, but now all hope is dwindling,” he said.

Edith Tusasibwe, a mother of 6 from Rwabarera cell Rubaya Sub County says his 45-year-old husband Nicholas Tumwesigye was the family bread winner and since his kidnap, she has been struggling to raise the family basic needs.

Saime Twesigomwe, the Rubaya Sub County Chairperson said he has tried to engage district authorities of Kabale and Rukungiri in vain.

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