Kasese Attacks Fueled by Rwenzururu Kingdom Militia - Kayihura Top story

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In short
In the first attack, about twenty civilians armed with pangas, knives and spears attempted to attack a UPDF patrol vehicle in Kikonzo cell, Hima Town Council, Kasese district on Thursday. Two of the attackers were shot dead in what Kayihura says was an act in self-defense.

The Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura has appealed to ‘Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu' and other cultural leaders "to prevail" over destructive elements among their subjects.

Kayihura's appeal comes two days after clashes between civilians and security forces that claimed seven civilian lives in the districts of Kasese and Bundibugyo.

In the first attack, about twenty civilians armed with pangas, knives and spears attempted to attack a UPDF patrol vehicle in Kikonzo cell, Hima Town Council, Kasese district on Thursday. Two of the attackers were shot dead in what Kayihura says was an act in self-defense.

Five people died in the second incident at Kasenyi trading centre in Buhuhira Sub County on Friday after they allegedly attempted to disarm police officers. The group had reportedly grabbed a machine gun from one of the police officers.

Kayihura, who this afternoon, made a statement on the ongoing tensions in the region said that some of the attackers belong to a militia calling itself Kirumira-mutima (the strong hearted) which is linked to Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu.

He describes the attackers as "misguided kids" being used by selfish people.
 
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Yesterday internal affairs Minister Rose Akol said that some of the attackers are part of the bigger group that believes in the breakaway and formation of a new state called ‘Yiira Republic.'

Proponents of the formation of Yiira Republic say that their struggle seeks to protect the rights of ‘Abayiira' of Rwenzori and Democratic Republic of Congo. The community comprises of Bakonzo and Banande communities in Kasese district and inhabitants of Butembo and Beni in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

But Kayihura says the alleged formation of a new republic is dangerous talk. He however adds that he intends to meet leaders in the region to discuss the factors fuelling violence in Kasese and Bundibugyo districts.

"I have not met any leaders of the region yet but my plan is to meet them. My priority was to first understand the situation," Kayihura told journalists in Kasese this afternoon.

He adds that security agencies will keep on engaging the residents to ensure that the security of the country is not compromised. In the same vein, joint Police and UPDF forces have been sent to Hima area to maintain security.

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He also dismissed accusations that he is fanning ethnic tensions in Rwenzori area by taking Basongora side against Bakonzo.

"Somebody to accuse me of ethnicity is an insult. I cannot be intimidated," he stated.