Al-Shabaab spokesman Sheik Ali Rage today took credit for yesterday’s high profile bombings in Uganda’s capital city of Kampala, saying “we warned them to stop massacring our people and they ignored that.”
˜Rage threatened more attacks against Uganda in the future, ones that would make yesterday’s killings of 74 people watching the World Cup final “minor” by comparison, if Uganda does not withdraw its soldiers from Somalia.
Uganda military spokesman Lt. Col. Felix Kulagiye suggested this was unlikely to happen, however, saying that the attacks underscored the need to keep the war going. “Al-Shabaab is the reason why we should stay in Somalia. We have to pacify Somalia.”
Yet Uganda’s military escapade in Somalia has been largely confined to shelling civilian areas across Mogadishu and claiming it was justified because they were “under al-Shabaab control.”
In the long run not only is Uganda’s presence in the nation provoking such attacks against its nation, but it is also providing an air of legitimacy to al-Shabaab among the Somali population, as the group can credibly claim to be retaliating against the civilian killings conducted by Ugandan troops on a fairly regular basis.