February 23, 2024

Religious leaders to organise national prayers for “bereaved” families in Kasese ADF rebel attack

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Archbishop of the Church of Uganda His Grace Stephen Kaziimba

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Religious leaders are planning to organise national prayers for the bereaved families in the Kasese ADF rebel attack that has left 41 students killed.

Under their umbrella body the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda(IRCU), the leaders said the date of the national prayer will be communicated as soon as possible.

In a statement, the chairperson of IRCU Council of Presidents, Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu strongly condemned the rebel attack, describing the action as barbaric.

He asked the security to intensify deployments in DRC to flush out the ADF rebel ruminants, adding that these “barbaric acts” are not only against the constitutional provisions requiring respect to the sanctity of life but also against the holy scriptures.

Mugalu who is also the Archbishop of Church of Uganda called upon armed forces especially the UPDF and the Uganda Police Force to fast track investigations into these horrific murders and bring the culprits to accountability through established legal mechanisms.

“The IRCU in the strongest terms condemns these acts of terrorism, lawlessness and extreme violence meted against innocent student,” he said.

Mugalu further implored the government to reach out to the bereaved families and those who are currently hospitalised with the essential support and supplies.

“We are coordinating our local structures to reach out to the bereaved families, the school, and the authorities to work out an arrangement for decent burial of the deceased. The Inter-Religious Council of Uganda prays for the quick recovery of survivors of the attack who are currently hospitalised,” he said.

“To the parents who have lost their young people, we grieve with you nonetheless find strength in the word of God. We also further condole with the Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere and all the people in the Rwenzori region upon this tragedy,” he added.

Mugalu noted that the incident has robbed the people of Kasese of their joy and excitement regarding the freedom of their King.

Nevertheless, the council called upon the members of the public to remain calm, united, and vigilant and to further cooperate with security agencies in providing the necessary information aimed at facilitating investigations.

The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) mountain division commander Major General Dick Olum UPDF on Saturday confirmed that 41 people (mostly students) were killed in a Friday night attack on a school in Kasese.

Olum said a small band of Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels launched the June 16 attack on Lhubirira Secondary School in Mpondwe.

Mpondwe is located in Nyabugando Town Council, Karambi Sub County, in Kasese district. The school is about two kilometres from the shared border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The unfortunate incident at the school comes 25 years to the day after the same rebel outfit launched a devastating attack on Uganda Technical College, Kichwamba on June 8, 1998.

Reports indicate 80 students lost their lives in that ADF attack while another 100 were abducted.

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