Calm has been restored to Mpondwe town in Uganda’s southwestern district of Kasese, following an attack by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels that killed 41 people, mostly students, according to a government official on Sunday.
Joe Walusimbi, resident commissioner for the Kasese district, reported that “there is no problem on the ground” and that “the military is leading the operations to hunt down these attackers and rescue the students.”
On Friday night, the ADF rebels attacked Lhubirira Secondary School, killing 37 students, a security guard, and three members of the local community. Additionally, eight students were injured, and six are believed to have been abducted by the rebels.
Ugandan security forces have attributed the attack to the ADF, a Ugandan rebel group that is a branch of the Islamic State in Central Africa. The group is based in the jungles of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and is accused of causing chaos in villages in that area.
The military said that it has deployed both aerial and ground forces to pursue the attackers, who may be retreating to Virunga National Park in the DRC.
The Ugandan military and their Congolese counterparts launched joint operations against the ADF in November 2021, shortly after the rebel group launched bomb attacks in Kampala, the capital of Uganda.
In response to the attack, Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has released a statement condemning the terrorist attack and extending condolences to the government and people of Uganda, and to the families of the victims.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, has also issued a statement strongly condemning the heinous and shocking terrorist attack by the suspected Allied Democratic Force militia.