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[Black Star News Editorial]
Several Possible Suspects In Uganda World Cup Terror Bombings
A double bombing by unknown entities claimed the lives of at least 23 innocent civilians who had been glued to television sets in public establishments in Kampala, Uganda, like
billions of other soccer fans around the world, enjoying The World Cup Final on Sunday.
The crimes must be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice. Since foreigners are reported to also frequent the popular establishments, the investigation should involve international crime experts. This would also help dispel any suspicion that the Uganda regime may have played a role, strange as it may sound to outsiders.
There are several possible suspects for this act of terror. More evidence will emerge in the next few days; yet, no source should be ruled out, whether they be external or internal ones.
Uganda is governed by a U.S.-backed general, Yoweri K. Museveni, who wears civilian clothing when it suits his purposes--generally when he's visiting Western capitals or meeting with Western diplomats and investors.
The U.S. primarily backs Gen. Museveni much in the same manner in which Washington supported Mobutu Sese Seko, the late dictator of what was then Zaire and Patrice Lumumba's assassin--Mobuttu was a U.S. stooge in Africa, much as Museveni is today.
Uganda under dictator Museveni is only one of two African countries --the other being Burundi, which recently held sham elections-- which has sent troops to Somalia to prop up the powerless U.S. supported government there notwithstanding the fact that Uganda's army committed war crimes in Democratic Republic of Congo and was found liable for $10 billion by the International Court of Justice in 2005.
Respected African countries such as South Africa and Ghana, both democracies, aren't willing to intervene in Somalia. They may not want their soldiers to serve alongside those who may have committed war crimes in Congo. Additionally many Somali factions are excluded from the current government so many African countries see the operation as catering only to Washington's primary concern; fear of Al-Qaeda gaining dominant influence in Somalia.
What's more, recently, The New York Times reported that Uganda was also training child soldiers for Somalia's U.S.-backed and financed government; ironically, the use of child soldiers is one of the crimes that led to the indictment of the leadership of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) including Joseph Kony.
Now, back to the Kampala World Cup bombings.
The Shabaab, a force which is regarded as Al-Qaeda allies and is threatening to overthrow the weak Somalia government have in the past threatened action against Uganda for supporting the government in Somalia. So, Shabaab cannot be ruled out as suspects in the Kampala murders.
At the same time, Gen. Museveni in the past has been accused of executing crimes that would suit his interests--political survival. Perverse as it may sound to the outside world, it is no accident that some Ugandans are suggesting that the Museveni regime, which has become more repressive and faces mounting opposition by political parties and civil society as the country heads towards presidential elections in February 2011, may have carried out the bombings.
Such skeptics suggest that the act of terrorism would pave the way for the regime to assume emergency powers or at least impose further political restrictions and increase harassment of the political opposition. In April, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a Congressionally-mandated deplored repression by the Museveni regime.
In the past few months, mysterious bombings have also occurred in neighboring Rwanda, where dictator Gen. Paul Kagame also faces elections in August. Kagame has clamped down on the opposition in the meantime. He's blamed top military commanders he's fallen out with for the attacks--the commanders, including Gen. Nyamwasa, who had fled to South Africa, denied responsibility.
Nyamwasa recently survived an assasination attempt in South Africa; his wife accused the Kagame regime with the attempted hit, which Kigali denies.
The possibility that a similar pattern can emerge in Uganda can't be ruled out. After all, a top opposition leader in Uganda, Olara Otunnu, a former United Nations UnderSecretary General, also survived a reported assassination attempt last December.
At the end of the day, Shabaab may well be extending it's tentacles and may be behind the Kampala bombings.
Uganda's cynical U.S.-backed dictator, Gen. Museveni, who has practised the politics of survival at all cost for 25 years, also can't be ruled out.
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Two bombings in the Ugandan capital of Kampala left at least 50 people dead late Sunday, local media reported.
The Kyadondo Rugby Club was hosting a crowd of football fans who had gathered to watch the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands when the bomb went off there. The Daily Monitor newspaper reported at least 40 people were killed there.
Blood, clothing and shoes littered the ground among destroyed furniture while security and medical personnel attended to the injured. The attack occurred shortly after 11 pm local time.
At least 13 people were killed in a separate blast in suburban Kampala at an Ethiopian restaurant, at least half of whom were foreigners, the newspaper reported.
“These bombs were definitely targeting World Cup crowds,” Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura told the BBC.
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