Robbers invade convent in Uganda, beat nuns while taking valuables, cash

Robbers invade convent in Uganda, beat nuns while taking valuables, cash

In a March 7, 2020, Ugandans hold candles during a peace festival in Kampala, Uganda. The festival drew inspiration from the African Union's declaration of 2020 as the year for "silencing the guns" on a continent that has long faced violence ranging from civil war to ethnic rivalries and rebel insurgencies. (Credit: Ronald Kabuubi/AP.)

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni instructed security officials to carry out a thorough investigation to track down robbers who attacked a convent 75 miles west of the capital.

KAMPALA, Uganda — Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni instructed security officials to carry out a thorough investigation to track down robbers who attacked a convent 75 miles west of the capital.

The attackers raped and beat some of the 50 Bannabikira Sisters, known as the Daughters of Mary, in their convent in Bwanda early July 10.

In response to the presidential directive, police established a post near the convent to prevent future attacks.

The sisters operate schools, a dairy farm, a candle-making factory, bakery and fishponds. They also make clerical vestments.

Police said the robbers reportedly disconnected security cameras and took the hard drives on which security footage is stored.

Sister Bernadette Namabalilwa, acting superior of the congregation, described how the assailants ”kept on beating the nuns asking for money.” The attackers fled with cash, phones and laptop computers, she said.

The robbers reportedly jumped over the convent’s perimeter wall and entered into the rooms of individual sisters, seeking valuables and money.

One of the victims, Sister Sylivia Namulondo, said in an interview that the women were sleeping when the men broke in.

“They beat us demanding for money,” she explained. “We told them that we did not have much money and all we had were rosaries and portraits of Holy Mary, but they could not let us free.”

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