Uganda ‘to go on the offensive’ following Kampala blasts

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni said on Wednesday that African troops in Somalia should be boosted to 20 000 to “eliminate” those behind the Kampala blasts that killed more than 70 people.

“We can join to build up the strength of that force to 20 000 so that working with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia we can eliminate the terrorists,” he told reporters in the western town of Ntungamo.

Somalia’s al-Qaeda-inspired al-Shabaab on Monday claimed responsibility for the blasts that killed at least 73 people in Kampala as they watched the final of Soccer World Cup at two separate sites.

Museveni said East African nations had already agreed to send an additional 2 000 troops to Somalia, but after Sunday’s attacks, the force should be further bolstered.

There are now about 6 000 African peacekeepers there, short of the targeted 8 100. They are helping prop up the transitional government in the war-wracked Horn of Africa nation.


“This force as we agreed in Addis [Ababa, the Ethiopian capital] will be expanded and the AU will be able to clean up that place,” he said.

“We haven’t discussed how many troops [Uganda] shall provide but [East African nations] agreed to send 2 000 now and later 20 000,” he added.

“When we meet at the AU, that’s when we shall decide how to move forward.”

He said the attacks had moved to Uganda reconsider the nature of its presence in the war-ridden Somali capital.

“We were just in Mogadishu to guard the port, the airport and the State House. Now they have mobilised us to look for them,” he said.

“We are going to go on the offensive for all those who did this.”

Suicide bomber
Meanwhile Ugandan officials said on Wednesday that a suicide bomber carried out at least one of the twin attacks.

Police have already found an unexploded suicide vest at another site, seen as evidence of a botched plan for a third bomb strike.

One militant blew himself up at an Ethiopian restaurant in Kabalagala, a southern Kampala district, where crowds had gathered to watch the World Cup final on Sunday night, while the other attack targeted a sports bar.

“We can confirm at least for the case of Kabalagala that it was a suicide bomber,” State Minister for Internal Affairs, Matia Kasaija, told Agence France-Presse.

Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said six suspects were being questioned over the attacks. “We have got six,” she told reporters when asked how many suspects had been arrested.– AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

‘Don’t vote, overthrow the dictators’

Tanzania’s opposition leader, who is again in exile, says ‘instead of telling people to vote, we should be telling them to prepare for popular revolt

Citizens win case for safe childbirth

In Uganda 16 women in labour die each day. One woman, backed by a civil society organisation, took the state to court

The Trump era is over. But the fight for democracy is just getting started

A respected and robust United States — with all of our flaws, mistakes and missteps — can be good for the defence of democracy, not least in Africa

Is a wealth tax the answer?

More wealth taxes may soon be a reality for east African countries in the wake of Covid-19

Maintaining Museveni’s securitised state

As Ugandans prepare to go to the polls in January 2021, the involvement of security forces in the electoral process is a given and political reform seems a long way off

How much does it cost to run for office in Uganda?

The parliamentary candidates who won in the 2016 elections were those who spent the most
Advertising

Subscribers only

Covid-19 surges in the Eastern Cape

With people queuing for services, no water, lax enforcement of mask rules and plenty of partying, the virus is flourishing once again, and a quarter of the growth is in the Eastern Cape

Ace prepares ANC branches for battle

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is ignoring party policy on corruption-charged officials and taking his battle to branch level, where his ‘slate capture’ strategy is expected to leave Ramaphosa on the ropes

More top stories

See people as individual humans, not as a race

We need to ingrain values of equality in education, businesses, society broadly and religious groups to see people

JJ Rawlings left an indelible mark on Ghana’s history

The air force pilot and former president used extreme measures, including a coup, enforced ‘discipline’ through executions, ‘disappearances’ and floggings, but reintroduced democracy

Sudan’s government gambles over fuel-subsidy cuts — and people pay...

Economists question the manner in which the transitional government partially cut fuel subsidies

Traditional healers need new spaces

Proper facilities supported by well-researched cultural principles will go a long way to improving the image and perception of the practice of traditional medicine
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…