by Ronald Njoroge and Peter Mutai

The U.S. government was urged Saturday to make compensation for Kenyan victims in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. bomb blast
The Secretary of the August 7th Bomb Blast Victims Association Evanson Gitu called on Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to address the issue of compensation with U.S. President Barrack Obama during his visit in July.
“We appeal to the U.S. government to pay restitution to victims, ” Gitu told a media briefing in Nairobi, adding that the target of the terror attacks was Americans, but most of the victims were Kenyans.
“The Kenyan victims’ lives have been shattered due to lack of medication, proper care and livelihood,” Gitu said.
On Aug. 7, 1998, the U.S. embassy in Kenya was bombed by an Al- Qaida linked terror group, where over 200 people lost their lives while approximately 5,000 sustained injuries.
Over 5,000 Kenyans were also injured in the blast which Washington said was carried out by Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the attacks on New York and U.S.
A section of the survivors who are blinded and crippled held a news conference in Nairobi ahead of President Obama’s visit to push for the compensation and other damages from the U.S. government.
The victims said Washington had forgotten their cry for help unlike the Americans who were given fully support for their loss in both the 1998 blast and the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
The U.S. Embassy in Tanzania’s main city of Dar es Salaam was also attacked on the same day. In October 2001, a U.S. judge ordered restitution to the victims of the embassy attack.
The appeal came as Obama is expected to make an official state visit to Kenya in July to attend the Global Entrepreneurial Summit.
Victims, who were employees of the U.S. embassy, have already been compensated by the American government.
“We Kenyans who are not employees of the U.S. embassy wish to express our regret to the U.S. on the way they have been handling bomb blast victims,” Gitu said.
He said in 2007 the American Congress passed a bill to compensate U.S. citizens and their employees without putting into consideration the ordinary Kenyans who died and were injured.
Esther Njeri, who was a victim of the bombings, worked next the U.S. Embassy during the bomb attack. Njeri said that as a result of the injuries she sustained, metal plates were implanted on her right arm.
“I have been in and out of hospital since the attack and I am unable even to perform the simplest household chores,” she said.
Dorcas Kagotho’s husband was paralyzed on one side of his body following the bomb attack. Kagotho said her husband, who was working in the building next to the U.S. Embassy, has been bedridden since 2006 due to the effects of the bomb blast.
“We are appealing to the U.S. government to compensate the victims so that their lives return to normal,” she said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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