Rwenzururu king arrested after dozens killed in clashes in Uganda


Rwenzururu king arrested after dozens killed in clashes in Uganda

KTN journalist Joy Doreen Biira, who was arrested amid clashes in Kasese, has been released, Ugandan police spokesman Felix Kaweesi has said.

This was after a group of alleged royal guards of Omusinga hurled an improvised grenade at Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) and Police officers. "The attackers go to a sub-county, establish a camp, put up a flag and say they have taken over that area".

A spokesman for Ugandan troops in the area said Mumbere was "rescued" from his Kasese palace and not under arrest, but police have disputed this account, saying the king was in detention and was in questioning.

The Ugandan security forces "must not jettison human rights in their handling of the clashes" in the western Kasese district, said Amnesty International in a statement Monday.

"In a shocking display of heavy-handedness, many people appear to have been summarily shot dead and their bodies dumped", Abdullahi Halakhe, Amnesty International's East Africa researcher, said.

Prior to the raid the Ugandan authorities had also warned the king that only nine of his guards would be allowed to remain at the royal residence - a warning he ignored.

"She was arrested by police officers at the scene because she was illegally filming military activities which the media had been restricted to capture on camera", Mr Suwed said.

Mumbere, who was detained by security on Sunday after his palace was stormed, was charged with murder on Tuesday and transferred to prison until December 13, when he returns to court, according to Solomon Muyita, spokesman for Uganda's judiciary.

Meanwhile, King Mumbere has denied any connections with the militia. His Bakonzo community on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo has always been at loggerheads with the dominant Toro kingdom in the region.

The move led to years of bloodshed until a settlement was reached in 1982 in which the movement laid down arms in return for a degree of local autonomy.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni officially recognised the kingdom in 2009. "We shall beat those who want to cause trouble on our land".



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