Endangered Heritage: UNESCO Seeks Removal Of Traditional Leader’s Graves

The Ugandan royal traditional chiefs’ graves, which were destroyed by fire more than ten years ago, were recommended to be taken off UNESCO’s list of endangered heritage on Monday, August 28, 2023.

Since the 2010 fire, the Tombs of Buganda Kings, which are housed in grass-thatched buildings on a hillside near the nation’s capital Kampala, have been rebuilt with the aid of foreign financing.

Kasubi has been designated as a World Heritage site.

The Baganda people cherish the graves at Kasubi as a significant historical and spiritual place, and in 2001, UNESCO recognised them as a World Heritage place.

The World Heritage Committee’s 21 member states will discuss the suggestions made by UNESCO following a mission to the site in June when they gather in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from September 10 to 25.

Afrikaans may now be considered a “vulnerable” language, according to the UNESCO

The main tomb building, a circular building with a domed roof that was constructed in 1882 as a palace for the Kabakas or kings of Buganda and transformed into a royal burial site two years later, was completely destroyed by fire.

The Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga structure has been dubbed a “architectural masterpiece” by UNESCO.

Given that 50% of the sites deemed in risk are in Africa, it has been said that the tombs being taken off the endangered list would be a potent symbol.

At least two individuals were killed after the fire when Ugandan security forces put an end to disturbances that broke out as Kabaka supporters attempted to keep Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s seasoned president, away from the ravaged area.

Following the imposition of a travel ban on their primarily ceremonial king in September 2009, the accident occurred during a period of tense ties between the government and the Baganda people.

At least 27 people died in riots that broke out around Kampala as a result of the prohibition.

What does the 30th anniversary of Uganda have to do with UNESCO?

Thousands of Ugandans attended a ceremony last month to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the coronation of Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, the current Bugandan king, whose ancestors governed an area that includes the present-day capital of Uganda.

On the shores of Lake Victoria, in the 14th century, the first of the four historic kingdoms of East Africa—Buganda—was founded.

The majority of Uganda’s population is Baganda, and after the country gained independence from Britain in 1962, a great deal of autonomy was provided to their kingdom.

However, the leader of the independence movement Milton Obote later made the tribal kingdoms illegal and exiled the Kabaka.

Because of assistance from Buganda, the bush war that ousted Obote’s adversary Museveni in 1986 was mainly successful.

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