Uganda: Rights Body Condemns Attack On Kasese School, Asks ADF to Release Captives

The Uganda Human Rights Commission has condemned what it termed as a barbaric attack by suspected ADF rebels on Lhubirira Secondary School in Mpondwe on Friday night leaving at least 40 students dead.

In a statement on Tuesday, the UHRC chairperson, Mariam Wangadya said the act by the ADF rebels is “totally unjustifiable, barbaric and criminal.”

Schools must be a safe and secure environment for learners, teachers and support personnel. Under international humanitarian law, schools and hospitals are protected civilian facilities, and therefore benefit from the humanitarian principles of distinction. Unfortunately, this safe space was violated by terrorists,” Wangadya said.

In the Friday Night attack, ADF rebels attack a secondary school near the Ugandan border with DRC before breaking into the dormitories for both boys and girls.

Whereas the boys’ dormitory was locked and the rebel group could not easily access it, they hurled a bomb inside that killed the occupants.

For the girls’ dormitory, the rebels forced themselves inside, shooting dead everyone before setting the dormitory ablaze.

They later looted the school store of posho and beans that they forced some of the students to carry as they retreated back to DRC.

Speaking on Tuesday, the UHRC chairperson these acts should never be tolerated but rather condemned by all.

“Terrorism is not only a national threat, but also a global threat to democracy, the rule of law, economic development, human rights and stability, and therefore requires a serious multipronged response,”Wangadya said.

She said that the rights body stands in solidarity with the bereaved families, the students, the teaching staff, the school authorities, families of those abducted by the terrorists and the country at large.

She commended security agencies for their efforts to apprehend those behind the attack but called for more measures to protect citizens against such harm.

“We invite the rest of the world to stand with Uganda and support our armed forces as they fight this menace. We call upon the ADF to unconditionally release their innocent captives,”Wangadya said.

On Monday, the police spokesperson, Fred Enanga said a total of 18 ADF collaborators had been arrested following the Friday night attack .

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