Uganda’s UPDF Chief of Staff Land Force, Maj Gen Jack Bakasumba, has cautioned fishermen about engaging in illegal activities on Lake Victoria.
General Bakasumba gave this warning while presiding over the graduation of 65 trainees who had completed the Marine Basic Induction Course at the Marine Training School in Kalangalo, Wakiso District.
Bakasumba pointed out that some fishermen often partake in undisclosed activities, including illegal fishing, and resist marine officers who are enforcing the law, which is not acceptable.
“When it comes to activities on the lake, everyone must obey the law. We will continue our operations through our officers and ensure that anyone found guilty will be prosecuted in court,” he emphasized.
He also commended the UPDF Marine Brigade for their successful missions in monitoring water bodies during deployments in Somalia and the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“Africa faces various conflicts, and we must be ready to support interventions at different levels when needed. We are making progress in addressing our security concerns and providing African solutions to African problems,” Bakasumba stated.
Brigadier Michael Nyarwa, the Commander of the Marines Brigade, stressed the importance of training for the efficient accomplishment of missions and tasks.
“Our training institutions ensure that all personnel receive the necessary skills to enable the Marine Brigade to support the UPDF in its constitutional duty of providing a safe and secure environment for socioeconomic development,” Brig Nyarwa affirmed.
He added that the Marines Brigade was established to safeguard national waters and protect onshore and offshore resources in line with the principles of the blue economy.
Lieutenant Colonel David Kararira, the Commandant of the Marine Training School at Kalangalo, mentioned that the trainees underwent training in basic maritime navigation, international maritime law, Kiswahili language, swimming, physical education, military law, among other subjects.
“You are expected to be the solution to the challenges facing the marines and the entire UPDF, and your behavior will guide you. Please, take pride in yourselves and in the Marine Brigade as you aim for greater achievements,” Lt. Col. Kararira encouraged the trainees, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the brigade’s ethics.