Authorities in Uganda continue to search for those responsible for two coordinated bombings that killed more than 70 people crowded into a sports club and popular restaurant watching television coverage of the World Cup final. With a long-standing and close friendship with the people of Uganda, the United States is deeply saddened by the loss of life resulting from these cowardly and deplorable acts.
The bombings were more than an attack against Uganda and its citizens, however. If the claims of responsibility by a Somali militant group are to be believed, the blasts also were aimed at all those supporting the international effort to restore stability to the troubled region. And in effect it was also an attack on African solidarity, in which Uganda and other members of the African Union have been in the forefront, working to solve African problems with African solutions.
With the support of African peacekeepers, Somalia's transitional federal government is seeking to secure the nation's capital, Mogadishu. Key elements of the AU force, known as AMISOM, are provided by Uganda and its neighbor Burundi, and they are to be commended for their work.
Instead, Somali militants for weeks have issued threats to force Uganda to remove its peacekeepers, now numbering about 3,600. The threats were renewed days before the attack when Uganda and other East African nations pledged to send an additional 2,000 troops. The scope of the terror attacks in a city known for its relative calm is underscored by the long list of citizens of other nations killed while watching the world's premier international sporting event. The bombings can also be seen as a warning to the African Union, which will hold its annual summit later this month in Kampala.
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni is unbowed, however, and it is likely his fellow AU leaders will remain resolute as well. At the request of Ugandan officials, the U.S. will do its part too, sending investigators to help find the perpetrators and with any other assistance that might be needed.