Kampala blast: Suspects await justice

2011-07-11 11:41
Kampala - One year after suicide bombers struck two bars in the Ugandan capital and killed 76 people, survivors are still struggling to recover while detained suspects have yet to face trial.

On the night of July 11 2010, attackers wearing explosives-laden jackets sneaked into crowds watching the World Cup final and minutes to the end of the match, unleashed East Africa's worst bombings in 12 years.

Twenty-four year-old Ramadan survived the blast at Kampala's Ethiopian Village pub-restaurant - one of the two attack sites - which claimed the life of his brother Siraj.

"My brother had fallen down as if he was sleeping. I was lying on his stomach and I tried to wake him," said Ramadan. "I am still asking myself how come he died and me, I am still alive."

The brothers had passed up several bars and settled on the Ethiopian Village restaurant after Siraj managed to squeeze into one of the few remaining seats in front of a giant screen. Ramadan sat on the ground between his brother's legs.

"The investigation should have been done already because it is already one year. I need those people to be taken to face the judge," Ramadan said.

Uganda has detained 36 suspects in the blast which was claimed by Somalia's Shabaab Islamist insurgents. Authorities are yet to begin a full trial against the suspects who have been behind bars for nearly a year now.

They face charges of terrorism, murder and attempted murder. They were last in court in November.

Rights activists and families of the suspects have blamed Uganda over its handling of the case, alleging illegal extraditions, abuses, inexplicable delays and political interference.

No credible investigation

But Joan Kagezi, Uganda's international crimes division chief prosecutor, denied that the judiciary was sluggish over the case and said the next hearing could be in August.

"Going by Ugandan standards, this case has really been fast tracked because other cases can take two or three years," Kagezi told AFP.

Among the detainees is Kenyan human rights activist Al-Amin Kimathi who was arrested in September last year while in Kampala to hear the cases against Kenyan suspects in the bombing.

Rights groups and the Commonwealth Lawyers' Association have called for Kimathi's release on grounds that his arrest was arbitrary, but Kampala has rejected those calls.

Kimathi's brother, Onesmus Murithi Imanene, said the case is politically motivated and charged that Kampala and Nairobi were colluding to stop Kimathi's work.

"There was no credible investigation as far as my brother is concerned. The whole issue is political," said Imanene.

"Even though the government of Uganda says that they are letting the law take its course, I believe this is a political issue," he added, citing his brother's campaign against illegal rendition of suspects by the Kenyan government in 2007.

The al-Qaeda-inspired Shabaab said the bombings were in retaliation for Uganda's role in the African Union force propping up the transitional Somali government the rebels are fighting to topple.

Uganda provides the backbone of the 9 000-strong AU force which is also made up of Burundian troops.

The Shabaab vowed more attacks after the Kampala bombings, warning regional countries over their support for Somalia's weak government.

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  uganda  |  east africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


3 sports games you have to watch this weekend

Whether it’s date night or a braai with buddies, plan around these three exciting sporting games!



How to maintain your mo, bro
Hottie of the day: Colette
Pro-skater Tony Hawk rides a hoverboard!
10 ways to drive her wild!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


There is a strong desire to be unique, self sufficient, right and in control today. Your mind is fast today and you may have the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.