By Shaaban Fundi,
I deeply regret the loss of lives and the senseless injuries caused by the bombings in Kampala. I wish the injured a speedy recovery and the dead mercy from the creator. And to the relatives of the victims, time will heal the wounds and sorrows. The killing of innocent people should be forcefully condemned.
What should Uganda do now? The issue of dealing with al Shabaab should not be left to Uganda alone. If they can bomb Kampala, then they are indeed capable of bombing Nairobi, Dar es Salaam or Kigali at any time in the future. It should be a collective gesture by the East African Community to show al Shabaab that East Africa is fed up with this barbaric and nonsense killings of innocents.
Somalis terrorists have now become a regional nuisance that needs to be dealt with decisively. Forces should be combined (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda etc) to uproot them from their bases in Mogadishu and wherever they might be hiding in the countryside. Their acts and existence are destabilising the region and hindering further investment in East Africa from outside investors.
As East Africans are trying to build an integrated East Africa, we can’t lose sight of the problem of piracy, terrorism and refugees streaming from Somaliland. It is in the interest of East African nations to deal with this problem now, once and for all. These resolutions after resolutions by the AU of sending peacekeepers to keep nonexistent peace in Somalia should end.
We East Africans actually need to go into Somali, create peace by disarming all the fighting factions and then keep the peace until Somalis are ready to lead their own county.
We have been watching Somalis kill each other for far too long, over 20 years in fact. The fact of the matter is they seem incapable of figuring out solutions to their problems. It is now time for neighbours to intervene. We are not going to intervene just because it is morally right, but because we will also be preventing future attacks.
If Tanzania, with the support of Ugandans, was able to uprooted the ruthless regime of Idi Amin Dada, three countries or more in the East African bloc should be able to do the same in Somalia with the help of moderate Somalis.
This is our problem and we need to deal with it as East Africans. America and the West will not be fully engaged in this as their interventions around the world usually involve the presence of oil or minerals resource in the country in question, and Somalia has neither.
As the AU head of states gather in Kampala from July 25, this issue needs to be at the top of the summit’s agenda. The Somalia problem cannot be left to take its own cause any longer and needs to be dealt with forcefully and conclusively.