Munir Safiekdin United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), country representative to Uganda, through a statement read for him by UNICEF communications specialist Catherine Ntabadde, has demanded the immediate release and safe return of learners abducted on Friday, June 16, 2023, from Lhibiriha Secondary School in Kasese.
Safiekdin condemned the attack, which killed over 40 students and abduction of unidentified number; he extended sincere condolences to the families and friends of the deceased.
“We stand in solidarity with the students, the teaching staff, the school authorities, families of those affected, and the people of Uganda in this sad moment. Schools are safe places for all learners and must never be attacked,” Safiekdin said.
He further appealed to those involved in the Friday attack to respect schools and the rights of every child to learn in a safe and protected environment.
The UPDF spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Kulayigye, said the army was in hot pursuit of the rebels, and the UPDF has taken over control of Mpondwe Lubiriha Secondary School, where the ADF attacked, killed, abducted students, and looted food. The military says the entire district is operating normally. Security has been beefed up.