Uganda tombs no more in endangered list: UNESCO

On Tuesday, UN Educational, Scientific, & Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said it would remove the tombs of royal leaders in Uganda from its list of endangered heritage sites because it was satisfied with the repair work.

During a meeting in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, from September 10-25, the World Heritage Committee concluded the Tombs of the Buganda Kings.

The graves, which the Baganda people cherish as an important historical and spiritual place, were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage place in the year 2001. They are housed in grass-thatched houses that are situated on a hillside in the capital city of Kampala.

However, a fire in 2010 completely destroyed the location, and it was added to a list of heritage sites that were in risk while rehabilitation began with the assistance of international funds.

It was finished in the summer of 2023, and UNESCO claimed in a statement that it “allowed the site to return to its desired state of conservation.”

“This reconstruction is a collective success: that of the Ugandan authorities, Ugandan heritage professionals, but also the local communities who were at the heart of the process,” stated Audrey Azoulay, the director-general of UNESCO. “This reconstruction is a collective success.”

Because we have made it a goal for World Heritage to give more space to African sites, this is wonderful news for the entire world community.

Before the judgment was made, UNESCO stated that removing the tombs off the list of endangered monuments would be a significant symbol considering that fifty percent of the sites that are considered to be in danger are located in Africa.

The fire caused the main tomb building, which had been characterized as a “architectural masterpiece,” to be destroyed; nonetheless, UNESCO has stated that it is satisfied with the restoration of other famous sites.

“It was also satisfied with the establishment of an advanced fire-fighting system and the training of volunteer firefighters among residents in order to prevent such a tragedy from happening again,” the report said. “This was done in order to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.”

It was in the 14th century on the banks of Lake Victoria that the first settlement of Buganda, one of the four ancient kingdoms that once existed in what is now Uganda, took place. Buganda is home to Uganda’s current capital city.

After Uganda got independence from Britain in 1962, the Uaganda, who make up the biggest ethnic grouping in the country, asked for and received a significant amount of autonomy for their kingdom.

However, the leader of the independence movement, Milton Obote, proceeded to make the tribal kingdoms illegal and drove the Kabaka into exile.

Buganda’s assistance was a significant factor in Yoweri Museveni’s victory in the bush war that took place in 1986 and propelled him to power as Obote’s adversary.

Museveni is still in power today, but recent years have seen a deterioration in the relationship between the Baganda people and the government.

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