Kasese town is engulfed in a somber mood after six people were yesterday killed in fresh clashes following fire exchange between the official Rwenzuru Palace Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) guards and the traditional royal guards.
The clashes ensued as the royal guards reportedly attempted to disarm the UPDF guards assigned to the palace.
Gun shots that lasted for about one hour left six people dead including two UPDF soldiers and a boda boda cyclist.
Police Spokesperson Mr Fred Enanga explained that a team from the Police Flying Squad that is actively involved in hunting down suspects behind the attacks on Kidodo Police Post, killing a police officer and stealing a gun, while on routine patrol and surveillance at Katadooba village, located 1 km away from the Rwenzururu Kingdom Palace, on Sunday sighted Kule Julius, the alleged Commander of the attackers on the Police Post, while in possession of the suspected stolen gun.
According to Mr Enanga, the suspect upon sighting Police Flying Squad, escaped and returned to the palace with six other members of the traditional Royal Guards.
“The police team while returning to the station in Kasese town, fell into an ambush of another group of suspected traditional royal guards, but managed to force their way through up to the police station. A few moments later, several gunshots were heard from the palace where it was later established to be an attack by the traditional against the UPDF Royal guard deployed at the palace, and whom they attempted to disarm in vain after he fought his way out of the palace with his gun,” said Mr Enanga in a statement issued on Sunday.
According to him, the highly charged and violent traditional royal guards tried to pursue him in vain, and in the process met two other UPDF Royal guards deployed at the palace, being transported back to the palace on a motorcycle locally known as “bodaboda”.
“They instantly shot the motorcycle rider dead, and hacked the two UPDF officers to death,” he added.
He further explained that both the police and military responded to the area and effectively secured it including the perimeter to the palace.
“They thereafter rescued the UPDF Royal guard that had escaped from the palace and transported the three bodies of the deceased persons to Kilembe Hospital mortuary for further post mortem analysis as inquiries to establish the motive behind the attacks continues. The situation has been brought under control with no other incidents of violence,” Mr Enanga said.
The attacks come barely a day after the Rwenzururu King, Charles Wesley Mumbere, protested the killing and alleged kidnap of members of his security detail.
Speaking to Daily Monitor last Saturday, Mr Mumbere said five of his guards have been killed and four others allegedly kidnapped.
“The option of killing civilians openly will not help to calm tensions in the region but may escalate the situation,” Mr Mumbere said, revealing that Yofesi Maate Mugoye, a royal guard, and a quarter master in the Buhukira Royal Palace, was killed last month at Sauliyako market after a quarrel with the security operatives.
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