Sunday, July 18, 2010


By Moses Mulondo

OPPOSITION political leaders have expressed worry over Uganda’s continued involvement in Somalia following Sunday bomb blasts that left about 70 people dead. Police boss Kale Kayihura suspected Al Shabaab militants from Somalia to be behind the bomb attacks. The militants later in the day confirmed they carried out the attacks. The Democratic Party (DP) president, Norbert Mao, yesterday called for a national forum bringing together all political leaders, regardless of their affiliation, to discuss the way forward on this new security threat. “This is a tragic incident, not only to the friends and relatives of the victims, but to all of us Ugandans. We cannot rule out its link to the presence of our troops in Somalia. As political leaders, we need to forget our political differences and get together to discuss the solution,” Mao said. He extended condolences to the family members and friends of the people who were affected by the blasts. Addressing journalists yesterday, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) spokesman, Boniface Toterebuka, said: “As FDC, we protested the idea of taking our troops to Somalia. We kindly ask the Government to withdraw our forces because we are not stakeholders in whatever is happening. The people of Somalia can solve their problems through dialogue,” Toterebuka said. The People’s Development Party (PDP) leader Dr. Abed Bwanika said taking guns to Somalia will not solve the crisis. “The solution to political problems is adherence to the concerns of all the parties involved. That is why many of us keep advising government if they wanted to help the people of Somalia they should bring all the warring parties into dialogue to resolve their differences amicably,” Bwanika argued. Bwanika also advised the Government to adhere to the concerns of the various Ugandans to avoid a repeat of insurgencies. “What if these blasts have been caused by rebels? There are many Ugandans whose freedoms have been suppressed and if their concerns are not adhered to, we can end up going back to the dark days of insurgencies,” he said. The Uganda Peoples Congress secretary general, Fred Bbosa, asked the Government to be on alert and to put a special fund for treating Ugandans in such occurrences. “The reports we have received from Mulago are that they don’t have beds for some of the injured people and many other facilities are missing. Why should the Government continuously spend much money on the presidency more than what is spent on the national hospitals?” Bbosa wondered. The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) chairman, Jaberi Bidandi Ssali, said: “It’s unfortunate. As a parent, I am shocked because my son Bebe Cool narrowly died because he was in one of those places where the explosions took place. “The Government should leave no stone unturned in investigating the perpetrators of this tragedy.”

No comments: