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Uganda and DRC military chiefs agree
on joint border patrols in disputed waters

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Military chiefs of Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have agreed to jointly patrol disputed waters following a recent spate of attacks, abductions and killings, a spokesperson said here Sunday.

Brig. Richard Karemire, Uganda’s military spokesperson told Xinhua that Brig. Kayanja Muhanga, Uganda’s second division commander based in the western district of Mbarara and his eastern DRC counterpart, Maj. Gen. Marcel Mbangu on Saturday agreed to ease and diffuse tensions over disputed waters on Lake Albert and Lake Edward.

“We agreed on cooperation and liaison between the commanders of our forces as a way of mitigating and minimizing insecurity incidents in our waters,” said Karemire.

“We agreed to continue sharing intelligence information, meeting and doing joint patrols to stop insecurity on waters, and ensure safety and peace,” he added.

At least two Ugandan fishermen are dead and one injured near Kaiso landing site on Lake Albert in mid-western district of Hoima due to deadly attacks by armed Congolese Lendu militiamen on Nov. 17, which came barely five days after the same militia killed five Ugandan fishermen on the same lake, local media reported.

Philemon Mateke, Uganda’s state minister for regional cooperation told Xinhua last week that the East African country will be forced to reciprocate if the Congolese militias continue to attack and kill Ugandan fishermen over the disputed waters.

Fishery and security officials of both countries have previously agreed to conduct joint operations to prevent clashes.



Uganda starts inspection of boats, vessels after deadly accident

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Uganda police and ministry of transport have started the inspection of passenger boats and vessels following a boat cruise tragedy on Lake Victoria that left at least 32 people dead, a police spokesperson said here Monday.

Emilian Kayima, Uganda police spokesperson, said in a statement that the exercise is aimed at ensuring the worthiness of life jackets, boats and vessels in order to avoid endangering lives of passengers.

“The Uganda police marine unit are in the process of carrying out massive operations together with the ministry of transport to inspect all boats and vessels on our water bodies to ensure their worthiness in avoidance of endangering lives as it was recently,” Kayima said.

At least 32 dead bodies were recovered, 27 survivors rescued when the ill-fated vessel capsized near Mutima Island in the central district of Mukono on Nov. 24, according to the police. 

Kayima said there is an ongoing investigation to establish the cause of the tragedy, which has been blamed on overloading, the vessel’s poor mechanical condition and bad weather.


Chinese FM sends condolences message
to Ugandan counterpart on boat accident

BEIJING China (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has sent a message of condolences to Uganda’s Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa on a recent shipwreck accident which caused severe casualties.

In the message dated on Nov. 30, Wang said he is shocked to learn about the accident. He expressed sadness for the loss of life and conveyed his deep condolences to the families of the victims as well as the injured and the foreign minister himself.

An overloaded boat reportedly carried 120 people capsized on Lake Victoria in Uganda last month. Statistics from the country’s search and rescue team show that 32 bodies were retrieved.


Seven killed in road accident in central Uganda

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- At least seven people were killed and 17 others injured in a road accident in the central Ugandan district of Buvuma, a police spokesperson said here on Saturday.

Patrick Onyango, Uganda’s deputy police spokesperson told Xinhua in an interview that the fatal accident occurred after the driver of a truck lost control and swerved off the road at Walwanda Mosque junction.

“The truck failed to negotiate a corner. Six people died on the spot and the other on the way to the hospital,” said Onyango.

He said the 17 injured were admitted at Buvuma Health Centre IV and Kawolo hospital for medical care and treatment.

The police spokesperson said the bodies of the deceased who were yet to be identified were taken to Buvuma Health Centre.

Uganda registers about 20,000 accidents each year, with some 2,000 deaths, making it one of the countries with the highest road traffic death rates, according to police statistics.


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