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Ugandans in US Demonstrate to Support King

Ugandans living in the United States planned demonstrations Saturday in Washington, DC and Los Angeles. The Baganda, Uganda’s largest ethnic group and their friends, are using the demonstrations to show solidarity to their king and to call for stability in Uganda.

King (Kabaka) Ronald Muwenda Mutebi was recently stopped by the Ugandan government from visiting Kayunga, 72 kilometers from Kampala. The dispute ended with days of civil disobedience, riots and strong-armed tactics by state security. At least 26 people died, over 100 were injured and more than 500 in jailed.

Demonstration organizer Jam es Kabonge told VOA that the purpose of the demonstration is to call for his (the king's) freedom to move freely in Buganda and Uganda like other citizens without restriction. “The King should move freely in his Kingdom and also in the whole of Uganda because the King is also a citizen,” he said.

Kabonge dismissed the allegation by the Ugandan government that the Mutebi was stopped from visiting Kayunga for security reasons. “It was instigation by the government to restrict the Kabaka’s movement because Kayunga is in Bugerere, which is one of the counties of Buganda. They (government) used the Banyala to stop him from going there,” he said.

Kabonge said there will another international demonstration of all Baganda and their friends on 8 October 2009. “There will be demonstrations in London (UK), Toronto (Canada), and all the cities and states in the United States,” he said.