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2016 Kasese clashes
Kasese Place Uganda.png
Location of Kasese in Uganda
Date 26–27 November 2016
Location Kasese, Uganda
Result Ugandan victory
Belligerents
Flag of Uganda.svg Uganda Rwenzururu flag.png Rwenzururu
Commanders and leaders
Flag of Uganda.svg Yoweri Museveni
Flag of Uganda.svg Brig. Peter Elwelu
Rwenzururu flag.png Charles Mumbere
Rwenzururu flag.png Johnson Thembo Kitsumbire
Casualties and losses
16 killed[1] 87 killed[2]
139 arrested[2]
167 surrendered[3]
126 killed in total (military and civilian)[4][5]

Violence erupted on 26 November 2016 in the town of Kasese, the capital of the Ugandan kingdom of Rwenzururu, when the Uganda National Police raided the government offices of the Rwenzururu kingdom, killing eight Rwenzururu royal guards and arresting two others. According to the government of Uganda, the raid was in response to militant attacks on police posts in the region two weeks earlier, allegedly perpetrated by the royal guards.[2][6] On the next day, the armed forces and the police raided the Rwenzururu royal palace after the expiration of an ultimatum issued by the Ugandan government, resulting in the deaths of 87 royal guards and 16 policemen.[1] Following the raids, the omusinga (king) of Rwenzururu, Charles Mumbere, was arrested and charged with murder.[1][7]

BackgroundEdit

The Rwenzururu region is inhabited by the Konjo and Amba peoples, whom have fought for secession from the Tooro Kingdom since 1962 under the movement known as "Rwenzururu".[8] The violence reached a height in 1963 and 1964, when Tooro soldiers massacred many Konjo and Amba civilians as they sought control over the lower valleys. The Ugandan army intervened against the separatists, doing such significant damage to the movement was suppressed for some time.[9] The movement however, achieved fame through a local folk epic and remained relevant,[10] eventually gaining autonomy in 1982[11] and official government recognition as a kingdom in 2008.[12] After Rwenzururu was recognised by the Ugandan government, violence between the Konjo and Amba peoples became more prevalent, as the Bakonjo generally support the opposition whilst the Baamba generally support the central government. In February and April 2016, violence erupted between the two communities due to disputed local election results and political infighting, leading to the deaths of at least 30 people.[2]

ClashesEdit

The Uganda National Police raided the government offices of the Rwenzururu kingdom on 26 November 2016, killing eight Rwenzururu royal guards and arresting two others. According to the government of Uganda, the raid was in response to militant attacks on police posts in the region two weeks earlier, allegedly perpetrated by the royal guards.[2][6]

The next day, on 27 November 2016, two Ugandan policemen were killed by an angry mob of civilians. The police, accompanied by the Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF), arrived at the Rwenzururu royal palace at around 10:00 AM EAT. Brigadier Peter Elwelu, who was in charge of the soldiers and policemen outside the palace, was ordered to storm the palace in an hour if the conflict had not been resolved peacefully by then.[13] At 11:00 AM EAT, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni issued an ultimatum to Charles Mumbere, the omusinga (king) of Rwenzururu, asking that he surrender his guards and their weapons within two hours or he will "face the consequences".[6] At approximately 1:01 PM EAT, Ugandan security forces stormed the royal palace, and the ensuing firefight resulted in the deaths of 87 royal guards and at least 14 policemen.[2][14]

According to Atkins Katusabe, the local MP who was part of the negotiating team inside the palace, the raid was conducted despite attempts by the negotiators to create a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Katusabe also claimed that the royal guards were unarmed, and that the reason he and Prime Minister of Rwenzururu, Johnson Thembo Kitsumbire, survived was because Ugandan soldiers had escorted them out just before the raid.[6]

AftermathEdit

Charles Mumbere was arrested and charged with murder on 30 November 2016.[1][6][7] In a court hearing on 13 December 2016, Mumbere received additional charges of terrorism, aggravated robbery and attempted murder. The prime minister of Rwenzururu, Johnson Thembo Kitsumbire, was later also arrested at his home in Kasese.[15] The Ugandan government announced on 26 December 2016 that a total of 167 Rwenzururu royal guards had surrendered to Ugandan security forces in return for amnesty.[3]

Charles Mumbere, Johnson Thembo Kitsumbire and 138 others who were arrested during the raids appeared at the Jinja High Court on 28 December 2016. The court set Mumbere's bail hearing for 9 January 2017.[16]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Uganda Rwenzururu: King Charles Mumbere charged with murder". BBC News. 29 November 2016. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-38146226. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Buchanan, Elsa (29 November 2016). "Fatal clashes between royal guards and Ugandan security forces must be investigated says HRW". International Business Times UK. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/fatal-clashes-between-royal-guards-ugandan-security-forces-must-be-investigated-says-hrw-1593979. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ninsiima, Enid (27 December 2016). "Uganda: 167 Rwenzururu Royal Guards Surrender in Kasese". The Monitor (Kampala). http://allafrica.com/stories/201612270269.html. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 
  4. "Kasese clashes death toll increases to 126, twenty-five new bodies discovered - The Ugandan". The Ugandan. 29 November 2016. http://theugandan.com.ug/kasese-clashes-death-toll-increases-126-twenty-five-new-bodies-discovered/. Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  5. "Uganda clashes; death toll from Kasese fighting rises to 126" (in en). http://ntv.nation.co.ke/news/national/2725528-3470360-hwooe0z/index.html. Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "Uganda: King Wesley Mumbere". The Independent (Kampala). 5 December 2016. http://allafrica.com/stories/201612050111.html. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Reporter, Staff (30 November 2016). "Who is Charles Wesley Mumbere, Ugandan king charged with murder?". International Business Times UK. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/who-charles-wesley-mumbere-ugandan-king-charged-murder-1594055. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 
  8. Prunier, 82. See Kirsten Alnaes, "Songs of the Rwenzururu Rebellion," in P.H. Gulliver, ed., Tradition and Transition in East Africa (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1969), 243-272.
  9. Rothchild, Donald S. (1997). Managing ethnic conflict in Africa: pressures and incentives for cooperation. Brookings Institution Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-8157-7593-5. https://books.google.com/books?id=4L2ihzmlsCcC. 
  10. Prunier, 82-83. See Kirsten Alnaes, "Songs of the Rwenzururu Rebellion," in P.H. Gulliver, ed., Tradition and Transition in East Africa (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1969), 243-272.
  11. Forrest, Joshua (2004). Subnationalism in Africa: ethnicity, alliances, and politics. Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 222. ISBN 978-1-58826-227-1. https://books.google.com/books?id=d9q7SewnBZgC. 
  12. "Cabinet recognises Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu" Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine., Ugee! Uganda Online, 31 March 2008 (accessed 6 June 2009)
  13. "Rwenzururu King arrested after shootout with UPDF in Kasese". NTVUganda. 27 November 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2L9oqp3gb9Q. Retrieved 30 December 2016. 
  14. "Kasese Death Toll Hits 100 as police discovers more 25 bodies – Red Pepper Uganda". www.redpepper.co.ug. http://www.redpepper.co.ug/kasese-death-toll-hits-100-as-police-discovers-more-25-bodies/. 
  15. "Rwenzururu PM arrested – Red Pepper Uganda". www.redpepper.co.ug. http://www.redpepper.co.ug/rwenzururu-pm-arrested/. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 
  16. Mwine, Julian (28 December 2016). "Mumbere case further adjourned, 9th January set for bail hearing". www.ntv.co.ug. http://www.ntv.co.ug/news/local/28/dec/2016/mumbere-case-further-adjourned-9th-january-set-bail-hearing-15529#sthash.CbJI9kUW.dpbs. Retrieved 9 January 2017. 

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