A YEAR ON – 7 / 11 REMEMBERED
July 11th 2010 was to be a day of great excitement in Kampala with venues all over the city preparing to show the FIFA World Cup Final live, and as early as 5 p.m. sports lovers from all over the city started to get ready to join scores of others in making their way to sports bars, restaurants and specially created open air grounds with giant screens to celebrate their favourite game.
Little did they know that at the popular Ethiopian Village and the Kyadondo Rugby Ground terror was awaiting them instead of football joy.
Al Shabaab, a Somali based Islamic terrorist organization, had planned to strike into the heart of Uganda, in revenge of our country sending troops under an African Union mandate to Mogadishu, to keep the peace if any could be kept considering the ruthless radicals they were faced with, and keep the transitional federal government in place until elections could be organized.
A memorial service was held in Kampala last night to commemorate the tragic events in Uganda that evening, when a twin bombing struck while the World Cup Final was underway, killer bombers doing the dirty work for their foreign based Godfathers after being brainwashed to sacrifice their own lives and taking dozens of innocent individuals with them. The aftermath was gruesome. Terror had come to Kampala, claiming lives and maiming survivors for life, tearing families apart when husbands, wives, mothers and fathers, children, uncles and aunties, breadwinners and carers were taken from them.
Uganda had suffered a major blow but was neither down nor out. President Museveni defiantly declared that this act of terror would only strengthen Uganda’s resolve to continue do the right thing in Somalia, and instead of withdrawing our contingent of troops was strengthened and since then several top commanders of Al Shabaab were killed in action. Friendly governments sent their top anti terrorism investigators and forensic experts to Uganda to help establish the circumstances of the attack, and a number of individuals are now in court for trial over their participation in the crime.
Security was strengthened across Uganda and remains visible everywhere, a reminder of continuously high threat levels against the Pearl of Africa and her people.
Terror acts are acts of cowardice, perpetrated by individuals lacking the courage to openly engage with military or security forces, and abomination of the Islamic faith and instead of the mirage of paradise hell will await the terrorists when they go by the sword as they lived by the sword.
Uganda today stands stronger, united in memory of those who died last year and no amount of threats nor intimidation will sway us from doing the right thing. A year on we continue to mourn those we lost, console those who continue to suffer from their injuries but we also stand firm in our resolve to bring all of those responsible to justice, and as experience from the battle front in Somalia shows, justice they will meet, dead or alive.
Join us Ugandans in our prayers, as we pray for you too to be spared of such evil, wherever you are.