Gen Odong: Yiira Republic Dream an Impossibility

Gen. Jeje Odong says the creation of Yiira republic is impossible. (Photo by: Kenneth Kazibwe/ChimpReports)

The Minister of Internal Affairs, prescription Gen Jeje Odong has said that the separatist campaign to create a Bakonzo republic (Yiira Republic) in the Rwenzori region is a total impossibility.

“The talk of cessation and creation of the Bakonzo state of Yiira has been in the public domain for quite some time now. Government has been clear that this dream is an impossibility in the present times, ” he said.

Gen Odong was Tuesday afternoon addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Centre about the state of affairs in Kasese following the two-day clashes between Security forces and Rwenzururu royal guards that left over 50 people dead.

Header advertisement

The minister highlighted a number of possible factors that could have led to the conflict, citing the political ambitions to create Yiira Republic as the most probable among others.

“This factor will be investigated to ascertain whether it is one of the drivers behind the behavior of violent actions of Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu,” he said.

He noted that Land factors, economic factors and the tensions between Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu and Obudingiya Bwa Bwamba could also have played part in steering the dreadful violence that has led to the arrest of the Rwenzururu King, Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere.

“The creation of Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu (OBR) and later Obudingiya Bwa Bwamba (OBB) cultural institutions was hinged on achieving political and social harmony. However, this created jurisdictional and control tensions between the two cultural institutions. Government continues to investigate this factor with a view of resolving the enduring tensions,” Odong said.

He observed that claims and counter claims over land rights between the Bakonzo and other communities could also be one other cause of the conflicts.

“The Kajura Commission of Inquiry report strongly recommended government intervention on the matter. This factor will further be investigated in order to provide lasting solutions to the land problem,” he said.

Gen Odong dismissed claims that the row was steered up by political persecution of the Rwenzori region by some area leaders due to the meager support accorded to the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) in the February elections.

“The government lost elections in several areas in the country and there has been no such occurrences in those areas. In any case the attacks in Rwenzori region occurred in 2012 and 2014 yet there were no elections in those years. The occurrences are a matter of security and criminality to which some individuals have to take responsibility,” he said.

He however noted that many of the local communities, especially those in the hard to reach mountainous areas are prone to exploitation, and misguidance by influential and powerful individuals to further their selfish and divisive political interests.

“Most of the youths participating in attacks are being assured of false promises of economic emancipation by individuals seeking to satisfy their selfish interests.”


Header advertisement
To Top