KASESE, Uganda, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- A tribal king was arrested in Uganda after at least 55 people were killed in clashes between police and a militia said to be loyal to him, officials said.
Fourteen police officers and 41 militia members died Saturday and Sunday in Kasese, a town in Uganda's Rwenzori region near the country's western border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Most of the deaths happened when the militia attacked government security forces patrolling the streets, police spokesman Felix Kaweesi said. He added the militia is attempting to create a new country on the border.
The area is a focus of opposition to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
"These militiamen have set up camps in the Rwenzori mountains from where they train and come to attack government installations," Shaban Bantariza, a government spokesman, said.
Charles Wesley Mumbere, tribal king of the local Bakonzo people and a critic of Museveni's, was arrested Sunday after an intense battle in which police attempted to force their way into his palace and disarm his guards. Police believed he was harboring militia members. Four police officers died in the assault on the palace. Mumbere is now in custody in the capital city of Kampala, officials said.
Some of Mumbere's supporters have called for the region's secession from Uganda, although he denied any role in the weekend attacks.