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Fisheries Protection Unit Under Investigation for Civilians in Army Uniforms Torturing Fishers

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State Minister Hellen Adoa has demanded an explanation from the FPU regarding these disturbing reports.
PHOTO –X/MAAIF — State Minister Hellen Adoa has demanded an explanation from the FPU regarding these disturbing reports.


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The Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU) is facing scrutiny following reports of civilians wearing its uniforms and engaging in acts of intimidation and abuse against fishers in landing site communities. Fisheries State Minister Hellen Adoa has demanded an explanation from the FPU regarding these disturbing reports.

Formed in January 2017 by President Yoweri Museveni, the FPU, a marine section of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), was tasked with combating illegal fishing practices on Ugandan water bodies and safeguarding fish stocks.

Minister Adoa has condemned the reported actions as criminal and has called for an immediate halt to such activities. She warned FPU soldiers who may be collaborating with civilians to cease their involvement, cautioning that they will face legal consequences if their actions continue.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala, Minister Adoa reiterated her stance on the matter, emphasizing the need to address ongoing issues within the fisheries sector.

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In addition to addressing civilian abuses, Minister Adoa has directed mukene fishers to resume their activities on the lake. She clarified that her previous actions were aimed at curbing illegal fishing practices, including the use of crude methods.

Last month, Minister Adoa implemented a ban on the “Hurry Up” method of fishing to protect young fish species such as Nile Perch, Nile Tilapia, and silverfish. This decision came in response to complaints from leaders in districts such as Kalangala, Mayuge, Buikwe, and the northern region.

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Reports following the minister’s directive suggest that approximately 50 fishermen have been arrested, subjected to torture, and had their boats and equipment confiscated by members of the FPU, allegedly due to the ban on mukene fishing. These incidents highlight the urgent need for accountability and oversight within the FPU to ensure the protection of civilians and adherence to the rule of law.

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