Uganda: Arrests After Kasese School Attack Raise Questions On How It Happened

More than 20 people arrested in Uganda in connection with Friday’s school massacre have been accused of collaborating with the rebel group blamed for carrying out the killings.

Among those held are the director and headteacher, who have not commented.

Officials say there may have been a dispute over the ownership of the school where the 42 people died.

The army say Islamic State-linked militants were behind the attack, but other motives are being investigated.

They belong to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a group created in the 1990s and took up arms against President Yoweri Museveni, alleging persecution of Muslims. It is now largely based in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

The arrests raise difficult questions about whether locals, and those responsible for the children, had a hand in what happened.

But there is very little clarity.

Thirty-seven pupils were among those killed, when, late on Friday, attackers stormed Lhubiriha Secondary School in the small town of Mpondwe, close to the border with DR Congo.

The victims, many of them staying in dormitories, were burnt or hacked to death, and some were reportedly shot.

Eight people were also abducted. On Tuesday, the authorities said that three – one woman and two boys – had been rescued by the army as they targeted the assailants, killing two of them.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, army commander Maj Gen Dick Olum said the violence was a way for the ADF to distract his soldiers from their pursuit of the militants inside DR Congo.