Uganda's Tragic World Cup Terror Bombings

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The Shabab have in the past threatened action against Uganda for supporting the government in Somalia. Perverse as it may sound some Ugandans are questioning the timing of the attacks.

[Black Star News Editorial]

A double bombing by unknown entities claimed the lives of possibly more than 60 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, according to media reports.

The crimes must be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice. Since many foreigners were also victims, the investigation could involve international crime experts. Somalia's Shabab militants have been mentioned. More evidence will emerge in the next few days. No suspects should be ruled out.

Uganda is governed by a U.S.-backed general, Yoweri K. Museveni, who wears civilian clothing when it suits his purposes. 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--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 have sent troops to Somalia to prop up the U.S. supported government there, notwithstanding the fact that Uganda's army committed war crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo where millions were killed. Uganda  was found liable for $10 billion by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2005.

The Wall Street Journal reported on June 8, 2006, that the International Criminal Court (ICC) subsequently has launched a criminal probe of the same war crimes.

Respected African countries such as South Africa and Ghana, both democracies, aren't willing to intervene in war-torn 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 some African countries see the operation as catering only to Washington's primary concern; fear of Al-Qaeda gaining dominant influence in Somalia.

While the U.S. has actively worked for a resolution of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan--Somalia's fate has been outsourced by the U.S. to the Uganda dictator and his tainted army.

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. So in Somalia the U.S. is actually subsidizing the crime for which Kony gained his notoriety.

The Shabab, a force which is regarded as Al-Qaeda allies and is threatening to overthrow the Somalia government have in the past threatened action against Uganda for supporting the government in Somalia. According to media reports, a Shabab spokesman praised the attack, but did not claim responsibility. (Later, another Al-Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamoud Rage told reporters at a news conference in Mogadishu, Somalia that the group was behind the attack, CNN reported, saying: "We are behind the attack because we are at war with them," in reference to the Uganda troops based in Somalia).

Perverse as it may sound to the outside world, some Ugandans are also questioning the timing of the attacks. The terror attacks come when the Museveni regime has become more repressive. It faces mounting opposition by political parties and civil society. Uganda holds presidential elections in February 2011. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton deplored the repression in a Congressionally-mandated report in April.

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