Fishermen call for more immigration officers on L. Albert shoreline

Fishermen call for more immigration officers on L. Albert shoreline
Lake Albert is located in the center of the continent, on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Lake Albert is the northernmost of the chain of lakes in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift.

Fishermen on the shores of Lake Albert in Bunyoro sub region are calling for more deployment of immigration officers along the Lake Albert shorelines to avert the illegal entry of Congolese nationals into the country.

The fishermen from the districts of Kikuube, Kagadi, Buliisa and Hoima say that while DR Congo prepares for the next general election on December 23, the possibility of an influx of Congolese nationals is high given the spate of instabilities that ravaged the country in the recent past.

Patrick Tumusiime, a fisherman at Kaiso Landing Site in Hoima district says that the government needs to deploy more immigration officers in the area to control the illegal entry of foreign nationals, especially during night hours. He too demands deployment of UPDF soldiers to tighten security.

Jacob Okumu, another fisherman says currently the number of immigration officers operating on the Lake Albert shorelines is very few and could easily enable the illegal entry of the Congolese into the country.

Robert Mujuni, the representative of fishermen at Kaiso Landing Site in Hoima district says that the government should put give more attention to communities settling on the shores of Lake Albert especially at this time when DR Congo is going to hold its presidential elections. He fears that many Congolese could enter the country while armed.

But Jacob Siminyu, the Spokesperson in the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration control noted that there is a need to combine efforts with sister agencies to address the issue. He says they have also intensified surveillance of the borders.

Lake Albert has six functional immigration offices situated at Nkondo, Butiaba, Kaiso, Wanseko, Ntoroko and Sebigoro landing sites in the districts of Ntoroko, Kikuube, Kagadi, Hoima and Buliisa. More than 30 other landing sites are operating without a single immigration office.

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