Obama, Bush commemorate victims of Tanzania’s al-Qaeda bombing

US President Barack Obama and former US president Bush stood together in Tanzania on Tuesday to commemorate the victims of the al-Qaeda bombing of the US embassy 15 years ago – an attack that foreshadowed the United States's present military build-up in Africa.

The two men bowed their heads in silence at a memorial stone in the new embassy compound in Dar es Salaam to the 10 Tanzanians killed and 85 Americans and Tanzanians wounded in the bombing on August 7 1998.

They then briefly spoke to survivors. But there was little personal interaction between the two men.

The ceremony took place at a time when the United States is stepping up its role in the fight against militants in Africa.

On the same day as the Tanzanian attack, al-Qaeda also bombed the US embassy in Kenya. Those assaults proved a precursor to the September 11 2001, al-Qaeda attacks on US cities and the subsequent US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq ordered by Bush.

Obama has spent his tenure winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and reacting to an economic downturn that Democrats blame on Bush's policies. Republicans in turn said Obama's actions have been bad for growth.

Obama praised Bush
But on his three-nation African tour, Obama offered praise for the former president and described Bush's programme to battle HIV in the African country as a "crowning achievement".

Obama arrived in Tanzania on Monday on the final leg of his tour of Africa. His Republican predecessor was coincidentally also there for a conference on African women organised by the George W Bush Institute.

First Lady Michelle Obama and former first lady Laura Bush also planned to team up at the conference on Tuesday for a joint discussion on promoting women's education, health and economic empowerment.

Obama's trip means he is hot on the heels of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who included Tanzania on his first overseas tour in March.

Talk of an economic rivalry in Africa between Washington and Beijing has been a theme of Obama's trip. – Reuters

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. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertisting

Stella set to retain her perks

Communication minister will keep Cabinet perks during her two months of special leave

Not a sweet deal, Mister

Mister Sweet workers say they will not risk their health, and the lives of others, to continue producing and packaging confectionaries

Covid-19 grounds Nigeria’s medical tourists

The country’s elites, including the president, travelled abroad for treatment but now they must use the country’s neglected health system

Nehawu launches urgent court bid over protective gear for health...

The health workers’ union says the government has rebuffed its attempts to meet about mitigating risks to workers

Press Releases

Rahima Moosa Hospital nursing college introduces no-touch facial recognition access system

The new system allows the hospital to enrol people’s faces immediately, using artificial intelligence, and integrates easily with existing access control infrastructure, including card readers and biometrics

Everyone’s talking about it. Even Kentucky

Earlier this year South African fried chicken fast-food chain, Chicken Licken®, launched a campaign for their wallet-friendly EasyBucks® meals, based on the idea of ‘Everyone’s talking about it.’

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world