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Bakonjo People (Uganda-Dem. Rep. Congo)

Ruwenzururu movement

Last modified: 2010-11-13 by bruce berry
Keywords: bakonjo | uganda | congo | ruwenzori | monkey | baamba | ruwenzururu |
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[Ruwenzori Bakonjo flag] image by Jaume Ollé, 03 Jan 2002 See also:


[Ruwenzururu Kingdom flag] by Pascal Gross, 13 Feb 2000, based on a scan by Bruce Berry

Another regional flag is from 1962 and is purported to represent the Bakongo people of the Ruwenzori (a mountainous region straddling Uganda and Congo). The flag is green over blue over yellow. A white disc is centred on the green and blue stripes (i.e., on the upper third of the flag). On this disc is an image of a black monkey on a branch. I've no information regarding the status of this flag nor the intentions of those who supposedly used it.
Stuart A. Notholt, 15 September 1996

I did a quick search on Ruwenzori - there is only one people which share that area in DR Congo and Uganda, and that are the Amba, see Ethnologue. However, it is quite likely that the people on this page have been mis-spelled and in fact are *Konjo*, an Ugandan tribe, see Ethnologue. There are at present 16.000 BaAmba people and 361,709 BaKonjo people in the Southwest Ugandan Ruwenzori area.
Another question: where did Stuart Notholt get his data from?
And of course: what kind of monkey?
The flag is on this website. info:
30 Jun 1962  Rwenzururu Kingdom unilateral declaration of independence from Bunyoro-Kitara (not recognized by Uganda).
Kings (title Iremangoma)
30 Jun 1962 - 1965 Isaaya Mukirane (d. 1965)
1965 -  ? Charles Wesley Mumbere (to 1998 in exile)
Jarig Bakker, 01 Jan 2002

I did find a rather definitive answer on whose flag is the one with the cute monkey. In November 1962,one month after Uganda's independence, the Bakonjo-Baamba under the leadership of Mukirane declared Ruwenzururu an independent state in the letters to Prime Minister Milton Obote, UN and OAU.(They didn't last long). The whole story, pretty interesting, can be found on this webpage.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 01 Jan 2002

The trouble started in the 19th century (?), when the Bakonjo and Baamba, who were then independent, refused to be a part of the Batoro kingdom, but they were made part of it; when the British came they supported the Batoro kingdom (divide and rule), and crushed a Bakonjo rebellion in 1919. In c. 1950 the Rwenzururu Movement became a force to be reckoned with. In 1991 the movement was disrupted by the splinter group NALU (National Movement for the Liberation of Uganda), and in 1994 the last rebels surrendered, later to be replaced by Chris' Allied Democratic Forces.
The ADF is apparently on the FBI's list as a terrorist organization. It is unknown, where it gets its support; however its main activities have been carried out in the old Batoro area, which is hundreds of  kilometers away from Sudan... (info from quite a few websites)
Jarig Bakker, 01 Jan 2002

Are we sure of the source of all of these flags?
I said that the first image sent to the list matched the one in the Flags of Aspirant Peoples chart - in which the disc with the monkey is skewed to the top of the flag. Note that the chart I referred to is Bartlett's one, not Jackson's one.
It would be interesting to have a primary source (i.e. a photography) of the original flag, if any preserved.
Ivan Sache, 06 Jan 2002

Ruwenzori Bakonjo flag

The image above is slightly different of the Ruwenzori flag as shown earlier by Pascal Gross. I drew a slightly different image with a central circle. The flag with circle in center was described in Flagmaster as the "Flag of the Ruwenzori aspirant state 1963-82" and with circle in the upper stripes, as the flag of the Ruwenzori Bakonjo. I believe that is same flag in two variants.
Jaume Ollé, 3 Jan 2002

The Rwenzururu Secessionist Movement flag.
It represents Love (blue), Fecundity (green), and brother Sun (yellow), surrounding a white disc (the snows of Ruwenzori), with a Colobus monkey - added later - (emblem of the inner inviolability of the Bakonzo tribe's territory).
Information by the designer of the flag, Tom Stacey, as recorded on this webpage.
Parren Plytra, 06 Mar 2004

Original Bakonjo Kingdom flag

image by Jarig Bakker, 07 Mar 2004

On Tom Stacey's site is the first flag of the Rwenzururu kingdom: plain blue - green - yellow, with in the center of the green stripe a white circle.
Jarig Bakker, 07 Mar 2004

Rwenzururu Aspirant People's flag

[Ruwenzururu Aspirant People's flag] by Dirk Schönberger, 02 Jan 2002

I send you my version of this flag. I do not think the colours are quite right, but I believe the monkey image is quite better. The original image was from the "Flags of Aspirant Peoples" flag chart.
Dirk Schönberger, 02 Jan 2002

From the "Flags of Aspirant Peoples" chart, flag #9, captioned: RUWENZURURU, Bakongos, 1962, Zaire & Uganda
The image shown there is similar to the one provided to FOTW. The monkey is black, except the end of its tail, which is white. Captain Haddock would call it "cercopitheque".
Ivan Sache, 02 Jan 2002

Ruwenzururu flag - variant

[Ruwenzururu variant flag] image by Chrystian Kretowicz, 01 Jan 2002

I don't know what kind of monkey it is, but I have in my files a basic image of the full flag. I don't remember where I got it. 

It might be the flag of the rebel group called the ADF (Ruwenzururu) active in Western Uganda. They do appear to be based in the Ruwenzori mountains, obviously. ADF stands for "Allied Democratic Forces". It was formed after the split in a Muslim separatist group in Northern Uganda, one faction became the ADF. Nobody knows exactly what the ADF are fighting for, but they are most likely supported by the government of Sudan. This is plausible since Sudan and Uganda have long been fighting a proxy war, sponsoring rebels in each other territory. The LRA, Lord's Resistance Army (Christian fundamentalist), another Ugandan rebel group, are certainly based in Sudan.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 01 Jan 2002

Sometime in 1981 Mr. Alfred Znamierowski let me copy some flags of unusual or long-forgotten countries from his enormous files (paper ones). The sketches, like the one of Ruwenzururu were pretty rough. I want to stress that the image I sent has absolutely nothing to do with Jackson's chart of the flags of Aspirant Peoples.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 05 Jan 2002