1580. Question of the Mwami

The General Assembly, Considering that a division of opinion has arisen in Ruanda-Urundi with regard to the institution of monarchy and with regard to the person of the present Mwami of Ruanda, Considering further that such a situation poses a constitutional question of far-reaching importance which should be settled in accordance with the freely expressed wishes of the people of the Territory, Noting that, on several occasions, the Mwami has stated his desire to be a democratic and constitutional sovereign, Noting further that the Mwami of Ruanda, in a memorandum to the United Nations Visiting Mission to Trust Territories in East Africa, 1960, has accepted the idea of a referendum to decide this question, Having perused the statement of the Mwami to the Fourth Committee,[1]

1. Notes with regret that the Administering Authority has arbitrarily suspended the powers of the Mwami of Ruanda and has not allowed him to return to Ruanda to resume his duties as Mwami;

2. Requests the Administering Authority to revoke the measures adopted by it to suspend the powers of the Mwami, and to facilitate his return to Ruanda to enable him to function as Mwami pending the ascertainment of the wishes of the people on this question;

3. Decides that a referendum should be held under the supervision of the United Nations Commission for Ruanda-Urundi established under General Assembly resolution 1579 (XV) of 20 December 1960, in order to ascertain the wishes of the people concerning the institution of the Mwami, and if necessary, the present Mwami of Ruanda;

4. Requests the United Nations Commission for Ruanda-Urundi, after studying the situation on the spot, to submit to the General Assembly, at its resumed fifteenth session, recommendations concerning the timing of the referendum and the questions to be put therein.

960th plenary meeting,
20 December 1960.

[1] Ibid., document A/C.4/467.

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