11 Sep 2009

Riots in Uganda over visit by king

1:08 pm on 11 September 2009

Riots have broken out in Uganda with reports of at least seven deaths.

Security forces have fired tear gas and live bullets in the capital, Kampala.

The trouble was over whether a king from a remote region can visit an area near Kampala.

The BBC reports the demonstrators were protesting against government's attempts to stop the king of Buganda from visiting a region near Kampala where violence was feared.

The king has a big influence among the Baganda, Uganda's largest ethnic group.

The issue is so sensitive that ethnic Baganda members of parliament walked out of the legislature on Wednesday.

There has also been a long history of tension between the king and central government, particularly over land reform proposals.

Buganda is one of four ancient kingdoms in Uganda. It was abolished in 1966 but then restored in the 1990s.