Kenya, Tanzania mark 20 years since US embassy bombings
80-year old Margaret Achieng places a rosary on her daughters name Doreen Aluoch at plague with the names of victims of the August 7, 1998 US embassy bombing at the Kenyaâs capital Nairobi during the 20th commemoration at the memorial park, Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018. (Andrew Kasuku/Associated Press) August 7 at 9:46 AM
NAIROBI, Kenya â" Kenyans and Tanzanians on Tuesday marked the 20th anniversary of the al-Qaida bombings of the U.S. embassies in their countries that killed more than 250 people, with hundreds of local survivors calling on the U.S. government for compensation.
The explosions on Aug. 7, 1998, were the first major al-Qaida attack on U.S. targets. Nearly 5,000 people were injured.
The U.S. ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec, said the extremists wanted to cause a rift between Kenyans and Americans but failed.
âTheir immediate purpose was to kill and destroy, but they had more in mind. They sought to divide us, to divide friends ... to undermine the values we hold dear, to destroy civilization itself and to replace it with a nightmare of oppression,â Godec said.
In a separate statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that âour partnership with our African allies remains stronger than ever.â
One survivor of the Nairobi attack said hundreds of Kenyans were still pursuing compensation from the U.S., while U.S. citizens working in the embassy had been compensated.
Douglas Sidialo, spokesman with the Kenyan victimsâ association, was blinded in the attack.
âYou have to ask, do they care about the dreams and aspirations of the survivors? The unity the ambassador is talking about is a fallacy,â Sidialo said.< /p>
The push to aid Kenyan victims is now focused on the U.S. Congress, Washington-based attorney Philip Musolino, who is representing 538 victims with compensation claims, was quoted in Kenyaâs leading newspaper The Daily Nation on Tuesday as saying.
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