An Ugandan student, Julius Isingoma has recounted how he miraculously survived a night-time assault by suspected Islamist rebels on his school dormitory in western Uganda.

“I smeared the blood of my dead colleagues in my mouth, ears and on my head so that the attackers would think I was dead,” he said, when we met him at Bwera General Hospital in Kasese district.

The attack on the secondary school in the little village of Mpondwe on Friday night resulted in the deaths of over 40 individuals, the most of whom were pupils.

President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni attributed the incident to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), saying that they were “possibly working with other criminals because I hear that school had some wrangles” and that they were “possibly working with other criminals.” He made no further mention of it, but he swore to find the insurgents’ hiding places in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.

It was founded in the 1990s and started using force to overthrow Mr. Museveni on the grounds that the minority Muslim community was being persecuted.

In 2016, according to reports, its head swore allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) organization.

However, it wasn’t until April 2019 when IS claimed responsibility for an attack on army positions close to the Ugandan border that it publicly recognized its presence in the region.

The introduction of IS’s “Central Africa Province” (Iscap) was signaled by this declaration.

As the militants fled to the DR Congo, six students are reportedly still missing.

Six people, including Julius, made it through the prolonged attack that lasted several hours.

He did not give the assailants’ names, only stating that they were armed males who attacked at around 22:00 local time.

They came to the boys’ dormitory but the students had locked it after realising they were in danger.

“When they couldn’t open the door they hurled a bomb inside the dormitory and then used hammers and axes to break down the door,” he said.

Julius was standing behind many of the students who had formed a shield near the door and were shot dead when the militants got into the dormitory.

There were cries as the students were gunned down, hacked or shot to death.

He quickly climbed to the top of a bunk bed, removed some of the wooden planks of the ceiling, and jumped inside to hide.

From there, he helplessly watched his colleagues being brutally murdered by the assailants, who then set fire to mattresses and left.

“I was overwhelmed by the smoke and dropped back down into the dormitory with a thud,” he said.

The militants heard the thud and came back.

It was at that point that Julius knew he had to come out of the attack alive.

“I lay next to the bloodied bodies of my friends and thought very fast. Then I smeared a lot of blood into my ears, mouth and on my head and when the militants came, they checked my hand for a pulse and left,” Julius said.

By gvoice

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