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Uganda crowns youngest royal

FORT PORTAL, Apr 17 – Thousands flocked Saturday to see the head of Uganda\’s traditional kingdom of Toro crowned, 15 years after he assumed the title as "the world\’s youngest king."

Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV was crowned in his capital of Fort Portal in a traditional ceremony in his hilltop palace overlooking the town, following his 18th birthday.

His authority symbolically covers the area of the Ruwenzori Mountains, known as the Mountains of the Moon straddling the borders of Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.

The young king had officially succeeded to the throne at the age of three when his father died of a heart attack in 1995.

"Our king was crowned when he was three, but in order to be on your own and start working independently, he has to be 18," the kingdom\’s spokesman Frederick Nyakabwa Atwoki told AFP.

Now it would be up to him to appoint his own advisers, Atwoki said.

The king will already have to choose a regent to run the kingdom when he begins university in September.

"We have 94 clans in this kingdom, every clan has a head (and) our king is the head of all our clans," Atwoki said.

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"We are now going to learn what he is, he has been a young person, now that he has age, we are going to know what kind of man he is."

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and other officials along with representatives of several African countries including South Africa and Nigeria were present at Saturday\’s ceremony.

The kingdom of Toro was founded some 200 years ago but was abolished with other traditional monarchies by Milton Obote\’s government in 1966. They were revived by Museveni in 1994.

The kings only have cultural power but wield major political influence.

The Toro kingdom reportedly has close links with Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, who paid for the rebuilding of the palace in Fort Portal in 2001.

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