Kenyan bombing victims appeal for aid ahead of Obama visit

World Today

A man attending an investor’s breakfast meeting with the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation charitable organization, named after President Barack Obama’s step-grandmother Sarah Obama, reads a copy of the Kenyan Daily Nation newspaper whose front page highlights the security measures being put in place ahead of the President’s visit to the country later in the month, in Nairobi. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Kenyan victims of the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi are appealing for financial compensation from the United States ahead of a visit this week by President Barack Obama.

Obama should consider aid for Kenyan victims on “humanitarian grounds” during his trip to Kenya, the first stop on a two-nation African tour that also includes Ethiopia, said Douglas Sidialo, a Kenyan who was blinded in the 1998 attack linked to al-Qaida. Sidialo wears sunglasses and walks with a cane.

Obama, “who has served as the first black president in America, should give us Kenyans a greater consideration on humanitarian grounds to see to it that we can have some kind of livelihood,” Sidialo said in an interview with The Associated Press at a Nairobi memorial for the victims of the bombing.

Stella Mwikali, a bank worker who suffered injuries to her legs and right shoulder, said she later lost her job and has been struggling to get by ever since the attack. She said she deserved compensation because she was “caught in the middle of the battle” between the United States and Islamic militants.

Extremists simultaneously attacked the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Aug. 7, 1998. The Kenya attack killed more than 200 Kenyans and 12 Americans at the embassy. Thousands were injured.

The United States has said it spent tens of millions of dollars to help attack victims and their families.

In 2001, several al-Qaida members were convicted in the United States of involvement in the attacks and are serving life sentences.

Report by Associated Press.