By Watchdog reporter
The remains of Rwanda’s last king, Kigeli V, have arrived in the country following a court battle between his relatives over where he should be buried, an official has told AFP news agency.
King Kigeli – who had been living in exile in the suburbs of Washington since 1992 – died in October aged 80.
His death prompted a spat between relatives living in the US and those in Rwanda over where he should be buried, and a US court ruled last week in favour of those in his home country.
However Kigeli’s Royal Council said in a statement that the king had not wanted to be buried in Rwanda “as long as the current government administration that was hostile to his majesty in life was still in power.”
Born Jean-Baptiste Ndahindurwa, King Kigeli came to power in 1959 and was forced to leave the country the following year after clashing with the Belgian colonial power.
In 1961, the monarchy was abolished. The king began a life of exile in east Africa, including Kenya and Uganda, before leaving for the US.
For decades he spoke of returning to Rwanda as king as part of a constitutional monarchy similar to that which accommodates the British royal family. But the Rwandan government was only willing for him to return as a private citizen.