Ugandans sue Britain over colonial era ‘crimes’
Ten Ugandans are suing the British government for £300 billion in damages for crimes committed by colonial officers in the late 1800s.
The group are seeking damages for crimes committed during the 1893-1899 war in the northwestern Bunyoro region.
Their lawyer Crispus Ayena Odongo said: “Before this war the population of Bunyoro was stated to be 2.5 million. But by the end of the war there were only 150,000 Bunyoro that could be accounted for.
When the British began their colonial project in present-day Uganda they were received warmly by one the country’s largest tribes, the Buganda, according to several historical works.
However, the Bunyoro, the other dominant kingdom in the area, was resistant.
The suit alleges that between 1893-1899 the British, using their own fighters and those imported from Buganda, decimated Bunyoro in an attempt to force the tribal monarch to sign an agreement with the colonial government.
Odongo, who previously served as the chief legal adviser to the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel militia during failed peace talks, said his case relied heavily on dairies from colonial field officers.
He said the kingdom had never recovered from the massive losses by the British backed invasion.
The case is currently pending in a Ugandan court.
Britain has hired local legal representatives who have insisted the British government enjoys diplomatic immunity.
The 10 named citizens are senior officials from Bunyoro’s Kibaale district.