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DRC: Armed bandits impose fear on fishermen on Lake Kivu

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Democratic Republic Of Congo

When fishermen sail on the Lake Kivu, they are afraid of bumping into bandits who rob and brutalize them. According to their local association, at least 4 of them were killed by bandits on the Lake Kivu last year.

As the sun sets here on the fishery of Kituku, near Goma, a city located in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Junior and his colleagues are bustling about. The fishermen are preparing their equipment for work. To ensure a fruitful fishing they have to go as far as possible from the coast. It’s there, that the biggest fish hide. However that is also where a risk lies: armed men hide far from the coast and attack fishermen.

Junior was assaulted a few weeks ago: "I was here by night when armed men came in a motorized dugout. They took from me all my work equipment, my catch: They injured his right eye and beat me. I want them to be identified."

Growing insecurity

In order to arrest the bandits causing insecurity, Sebumba Manegabe, the Kituku delegate of the fishermen wishes for the night patrols of the Congolese maritime forces to be more massively deployed.

The Congolese maritime forces are reassuring. Off the record, they only talk about a dispute between fishermen. Officially, routine patrols continue with no incident.

According to the local association of fishermen, at least 4 of them were killed by bandits on the Lake Kivu, last year.

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