Maj Gen Kayanja Muhanga, the UPDF overall Commander Operation Shujaa, on 17 January 2022 inspected the on-going ferry construction works at Hayibale landing site on river Semuliki in Rwebisengo county – Ntoroko district. Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is working to install the ferry on river Semuliki that will connect Uganda and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Maj Gen Kayanja Muhanga, the UPDF overall Commander Operation Shujja, on 17 January 2022 inspected the on-going ferry construction works at Hayibale landing site on river Semuliki in Rwebisengo county- Ntoroko district. Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is working to install the ferry on river Semuliki that will connect Uganda and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Maj Gen Kayanja expressed his gratitude on UNRAs progress. He was informed that the ferry will be operational in a few days and will carry loads not more than 35 tones and 100 passengers. “This ferry will create a multiplier effect on security and trade between the two countries. Once the ferry is operational, movement of personnel and materials to the operational area will be shortened,” Maj Gen Kayanja observed.
The RDC Ntoroko district Mr. Mesach Kawamara thanked government for bringing development in his district. “I thank government for the quick intervention and people of Ntoroko especially those in Rwebisengo are very excited to have a ferry. This development is going to boost trade between the two countries,” he said.
The Chief of Mitego kingdom Rutahaba Ibanda, who led a delegation from Democratic Republic of Congo, was overjoyed on the installation of a ferry at Hayibale landing site. He explained the difficulties his people face while crossing to Uganda through Lake Albert to Ntoroko town. “The Hema of Congo and Batuku of Uganda are kinsmen and cattle keepers who interact on daily basis. My people have been having difficulties travelling from Bunia across lake Albert to Ntoroko. Now that the ferry is here, we are going to abandon the longer and risky route,” Omukama Rutahaba explained.
He thanked both President Felix Tshisedi and Yoweri Museveni for the peaceful coexistence between the two countries.
The LC1 Chairman Hayibale village, Bweramule sub county, Mr. Bongaliya Moses, was most grateful for the ferry construction. He said for the past one week when the construction of ferry started, the village people have already reaped in terms of selling their goods and enjoying the newly constructed road connecting Hayibale landing site to Bundibugyo tarmac road. “My people are very happy with this development. The road has been upgraded and now the ferry is going to shorten the distance to our relatives in Congo. Thank you UPDF and government of Uganda.” said Chairman Bongaliya Moses.
The construction of a ferry on river Semuliki comes at a time when UPDF together with FARDC are hunting Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) terrorists in Virunga and Ituri impenetrable forests in North Kivu and Ituri pronvices. This operation has had a challenge of difficult terrain with steep hills, valleys, numerous rivers and poor roads prolonging lines of communication. It is envisaged that once the ferry becomes operational, communication will be shortened which will increase the thrust to eliminate ADF from Eastern DRC.