Opposition calls for regional security meeting
Posted Tuesday, September 24 2013 at 01:00
KAMPALA- The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party yesterday called for a meeting of the East African Community (EAC) partner states to address the security situation in the region following an attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi by al Shabaab over the weekend.
Distressed by what he described as a “beastly, despicable and inhuman act ” against the Kenyan people, acting FDC president Col (Rtd) Amanya Mushega told a press briefing in Kampala that the envisaged summit should discuss the volatile situation in Eastern Congo, Sudan and Somalia where the militant group al Shabaab is based.
“We (the region) should get together and discuss the issues of Somalia more seriously. We should not wait until events happen. We should not be shy to address regional security issues but must be frank and address them,” Mr Mushega said.
The al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it is in retaliation to Kenya’s involvement in military operations in Somalia, the same reason the group advanced for the July 11 2010 twin attacks on football fans in Kampala.
The former EAC secretary general, however, explained that it is premature to discuss whether Uganda should withdraw its soldiers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
Former FDC President Dr Kizza Besigye opposed the UPDF deployment into Somalia saying it was a ploy by President Museveni to impress the international community.
“When the dust has settled, we must sit down and discuss the events in Kenya more soberly. We cannot agree all the time but we must have a consensus on the issues that affect us,” he said, while saluting the Kenyan leadership for “showing solidarity” in the wake of the attack.
The Westgate mall attack left 69 people dead but the number could go up, Kenya security officers say.