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Did Uganda ignore US warning days to school killings?

A private school in Western Uganda, Lhubiriha Secondary School, was the scene of a terrorist attack in which rebels linked to the Islamic State group attacked and killed 40 students at 11pm on June 16, 2023.

According to the Monitor, the suspects are the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) who killed several pupils and abducted many others.

Reports have it that the terrorists entered the school’s dormitories and set fires; then proceeded to kill and maim students using machetes. Following this attack, the rebels allegedly threw bombs into the dorms.

The Monitor further reported that this is not the first time the militants attacked schools in the region. In 1998, the rebels killed 80 students at Kichwamba Technical Institute, abducted others and left several others injured.

This latest terrorist attack comes days after the United States of America warned its citizens against travelling to Uganda due to terrorist threats, the Anti-Homosexuality legislation and increased crime.

“here remains a threat of terrorist attacks in Uganda and throughout the region. Terrorist attacks occurred in several villages in western Uganda in December 2022 and there were multiple bombings in and around Kampala in 2021. While the attacks did not appear to target foreign nationals, anyone can be a victim. U.S. citizens should remain alert and avoid large public gatherings,” said the US Department of State on June 12, 2023.

The travel advisory further warned Americans insisting on traveling to Uganda to be wary of their surroundings, be extra vigilant, provide their itineraries to other family members and friends, keep a low profile and remain in a group of friends in public among other warnings.

Western Uganda is a region in turmoil as Congolese and Ugandan soldiers continue to battle it out with the ADF rebel group for over a year. According to the Monitor, security agencies were particularly alert last week after Congo-based ADF renewed attacks close to the Ugandan border. These attacks were allegedly in retaliation against the Ugandan and Congo militaries who had pacified attacks in the region.

The ADF are believed to be the biggest, deadliest militia in the region, largely comprised of Muslims and opposed to President Yoweri Museveni’s rule.

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