Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Mary Masika in Mpondwe, Uganda - 18 June 2023
Mary Masika, who lives opposite the school says she would often hear the students singing before bedtime.

Pupils in Uganda were singing gospel songs before a deadly attack by Islamist militants on Friday, a woman who lives opposite the school says.

“Then I heard screaming,” Mary Masika told the BBC. The vicious attack in Mpondwe left about 40 people dead.

Islamic State-linked militants have been blamed for the attack.

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) was created in the 1990s and took up arms against President Yoweri Museveni, alleging persecution of Muslims.

They are now largely based in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

fellow fighter if “the job was done”.

They were talking in Swahili – the lingua franca in the region – and afterwards began shouting “Allahu Akbar”, meaning “God is greatest”.

She said after these chants one of them added: “We have succeeded in destabilising Museveni’s country.”

Mourner at a funeral in Mpondwe, Uganda - 18 June 2023
Several funerals were held on Sunday for those killed in the attack

In response, President Museveni vowed to send more troops to Rwenzori Mountains, which are along the border between Uganda and the DR Congo, saying: “Their action… the desperate, cowardly, terrorist action… will not save them.”

The area around Mpondwe seems to be a mix of Christians and Muslims. Some of those attending the funerals on Sunday were dressed in traditional Muslim attire.

Other funerals for the pupils killed in the attack were held in villages across the region, with most people dumbfounded and pained by the brutality of the assault.

By Joy

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