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Why Museveni, First Lady have stayed away from scene of deadly school terrorist attack

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni and his wife, First Lady Janet Museveni, could not visit the scene of a deadly terrorist attack in Western Uganda that happened on June 16, 2023, at 11pm.

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a deadly group linked to the Islamic State and based in Congo are reported to be behind the attack.

Law enforcement believe the rebels had been in the neighborhood of the school for two days, watching and waiting, before they descended on the school. 40 pupils were killed, several others were either maimed or abducted.

Both the President and his wife could not visit the scene due to coronavirus.

President Museveni tested positive for the virus over 10 days ago and is currently in isolation; and so is his wife who tested negative.

First Lady Janet Museveni is also the Minister of Education and Sports in Uganda. In their stead, Mrs Museveni dispatched representatives to Lhubiria Secondary School and wrote a statement addressing the attack.

“Today, our nation mourns the devastating terrorist attack on Mpondwe Lhubiliriha Secondary School in Kasese District near the DRC border, claiming the lives of 37 children, with another five hospitalized. Initially, 25 deaths were reported, but the count tragically increased.

Due to my ongoing quarantine, I couldn’t personally visit the site. Instead, Hon. Muyingo, accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports, and the Commissioner for Private Schools, is on the ground assessing the situation. With the President’s assistance, we’re providing support for the bereaved families during this trying time.

We call upon everyone to offer prayers for the affected families and community, while also urging vigilance to uphold the safety of our children in schools. We request the media to report responsibly, considering the ongoing grief, and providing comfort and hope. I remain confident that the UPDF, with divine guidance, will ensure those responsible face justice. On behalf of the Ugandan Government, the Ministry of Education and Sports, and myself, I extend heartfelt condolences to the families, students, staff of Lhubiliriha Secondary School, and the broader community affected by this tragedy,” said Mrs Museveni on Saturday, June 17, 2023.

Law enforcement said they were on the chase for the rebels. The attack is believed to be a retaliation move against the Congo and Uganda militaries who had fought to ensure peace returned to Western Uganda.

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