President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday morning reportedly talked to King Charles Wesley Mumbere of the Rwenzururu kingdom on phone and ordered him to disband the guards, who are believed to be part of a militia agitating for the creation of an independent republic straddling Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“We took time to talk to the king to get those people out but the king was non-compliant. The only option was to storm the palace and get those people out and get him out for his own security and safety,” Kaweesi is quoted to have said.
Kaweesi said the king has to explain his involvement in the ongoing attacks addng that he will be charged with inciting violence and brought to Kampala.
Violence has been simmering in the region all week, with four militants killed when they attacked a police post on Thursday, a police spokeswoman.
The Rwenzururu kingdom is a traditional monarchy based near the Rwenzori Mountains which straddle Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, of the Bakonzo people — with supporters among those who share the same culture and language in the DRC.
The monarchy started out as a separatist movement of the same name when the Bakonzo — tired of being subjected to the rule of another tribe under colonial rule — declared their own kingdom in 1962.
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.
The Banande in DRC and the Bakonzo in Uganda, have the same culture and language and are believed to stem from one people known as the Ba-Yira.
Though Mumbere has distanced himself from the cause, authorities accuse his royal guards of training in the mountains alongside separatist militia forces to attack government installations.