Closure after Uganda terror suspects sentenced
From GERALD BUSINGE in Kampala, Uganda
KAMPALA, (CAJ News) – FOLLOWING the conclusion of the Kampala bombings case, there is hope survivors can find peace in the conviction of the perpetrators of the attacks that claimed the lives more than 70 Ugandans watching the 2010 FIFA World Cup final.
On the night of the final played in South Africa on June 11, twin suicide attacks ravaged Uganda’s capital, Kampala killing 74 people and injuring 70.
Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militia based in Somalia that has ties to Al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the blasts as retaliation for Ugandan support for African Union Mission in Somalia.
Of the 13 men on trial were convicted on a range of charges. There was insufficient evidence to convict the other five.
The suspects’ charges included terrorism and 76 counts of murder.
The Ugandan International Crimes Division of the High Court has handed down severe sentences ranging from five to 75 years.
“With some closure to the Kampala bombings case, one hopes that survivors can find peace in justice being served,” Ottilia Anna Maunganidze, Senior Researcher, Office of the Executive Director, Institute of Security Studies.
Analysts noted while all were convicted for terrorism-related offences, they were not convicted of being part of a terrorist organisation.
When the crimes were committed, Al-Shabaab was not listed in Uganda’s Anti-terrorism Act as a terrorism organisation.
Police have continued to detain the five men acquitted by the court amid indications other cases would be opened against them in future.
– CAJ News
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