Police said on Monday they had arrested 20 suspected “collaborators” of the ADF rebels, an Islamist militia, after the massacre perpetrated by jihadists that left at least 42 dead at a high school in Uganda last week.
Vast dragnet in Uganda. Twenty suspected “collaborators” of the ADF rebels have been arrested in Uganda after the massacre perpetrated by jihadists which killed at least 42 people last week in a high school, police announced on Monday (June 19th).
“We have arrested 20 suspected collaborators of the ADF,” the Allied Democratic Forces, an Islamist militia that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, Ugandan police spokesman Fred Enanga said at a press conference.
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At least 42 people were killed in the night from Friday to Saturday in western Uganda, mostly students, attacked with machetes, shot or burned alive, according to a new report given on this occasion by the police.
The Ugandan police spokesperson also said the headteacher and principal of Lhubiriha High School in Mpondwe, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, had to “answer some questions”, without specifying whether they were among those arrested.
Six people injured in the attack are still in hospital, Fred Enanga said.
“Desperate, cowardly” act
This announcement comes as families are still waiting on Monday for the results of DNA tests to identify victims of the massacre. Seventeen were indeed burned beyond recognition when the attackers set fire to a dormitory, complicating the identification and count of missing persons.
“We are not sure if our children are among those who have been kidnapped or burned. We are saddened, maybe the government will give us an answer soon and we are praying,” Joseph Masika, a guardian, told AFP. of one of the missing students after harrowing visits to area morgues and hospitals.
“It is a painful situation that no parent would want to go through, but we remain hopeful that they are alive wherever they are,” he added. Officials say the 42 dead include 37 students and a security guard.
President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday called the massacre a “desperate, cowardly” act and promised to eliminate those responsible for the bloody assault, the worst of its kind in the country in years.
Joe Walusimbi, the district commissioner of Kesese, where the school is located, had earlier said most of the identified victims were buried on Sunday, and burials were continuing on Monday.
Border with the DRC
“We have almost completed the burial of the dead already identified and we are awaiting the DNA tests of these students who have been burned to the point of being unrecognizable”, he declared to AFP, while affirming, contrary to some social media posts that schools in the area are still open. “The security situation is under control,” he said.
The school is less than two kilometers from the border with the DRC, where the ADF has been active and has been accused of killing thousands of civilians since the 1990s.
Originally the mainly Muslim Ugandan rebels, established in the DRC since the 1990s, they pledged allegiance in 2019 to IS, which claims some of their actions and presents them as its “Central African province” (Iscap in English).
Friday’s attack on Lhubiriha High School in Mpondwe is the deadliest in Uganda since the double bombing in Kampala in 2010 that killed 76 people in a raid claimed by the Islamist group Shebab, based in Somalia.
According to the latest report by UN experts, consulted by AFP and scheduled to be released this week, the ADF rebels have since at least 2019 received financial support from the Islamic State group and were seeking to expand their area of operations. .
Source: France 24