Uganda deploys additional soldiers following attack on students

Ugandan security forces cordon the scene outside the Mpondwe Lhubirira Secondary School, after militants linked to rebel group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) killed and abducted multiple people, in Mpondwe, western Uganda, June 17, 2023. (Photo/Reuters)

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has ordered more troops to western Uganda where attackers from a group with links to Daesh killed at least 41 people, mostly students.

Museveni said on Sunday that more soldiers had joined the pursuit in the area, which includes Rwenzori Mountain, from where the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) launched their insurgency against Museveni in the 1990s.

"We are now sending more troops into the area south of Rwenzori Mountain," he said in a statement.

"Their action, the desperate, cowardly, terrorist action, therefore, will not save them. We are bringing new forces to the Uganda side as we continue the hunting on the Congo side."

ADF militants killed the students late on Friday at Lhubirira Secondary School in Mpondwe, near the border with Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Military and police said the attackers had also abducted six students and fled towards the Virunga National Park across the border. Their fate is unknown.

On Saturday, privately owned NTV Uganda television said the death toll stood at 41, while the state-run New Vision newspaper said it was 42.

New Vision said 39 of the dead were students, and some were killed when the attackers set off a bomb as they fled.

International condemnation and shock

The attack drew widespread international condemnation from the United Nations, the African Union and East Africa's Intergovernmental Authority on Development. Ugandans were shocked by the attack.

"Parents across the country, please do not panic, our children are safe, and they will remain safe. They are evil people and they are trying to harm our children, but they will not manage," Janet Museveni, the First Lady and Education Minister, said late on Saturday.

Museveni said the government would also investigate if there were any lapses that enabled the attack to happen.

"Was an alarm sounded and by whom? How did the nearby security people respond? Why didn’t our people on the Congo side have intelligence on this splinter group etc?" Museveni said.

The Ugandan military largely defeated the ADF but remnants fled into the vast jungles of eastern DRC from where they have since maintained their insurgency - attacking civilian and military targets in DRC and Uganda.


Source: TRT