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Security Tight as African Leaders Arrive in Uganda

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, right, on his arrival at Entebbe  International Airport Uganda for the African summit, 24 Jul 2010

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, right, on his arrival at Entebbe International Airport Uganda for the African summit, 24 Jul 2010 AP)

 

July 24, 2010

 

(KATAKAMI / VOA)  Uganda is deploying heavy security across its capital Kampala as dozens of African heads of state begin arriving for the latest African Union Summit.

Uganda’s Foreign Minister Okello Oryem Saturday told the French news agency (AFP) that security measures exceed the normally tight security during state visits.

The meeting officially begins on Sunday, just two weeks after 76 people died in Kampala in twin bomb attacks targeting people watching the World Cup final match.

Somalia’s islamist militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were in retaliation for the deployment of Ugandan peacekeepers in Somalia.

The peacekeepers are part of an African Union mission, and after the attacks, the AU declared that Somalia would be at the top of the agenda at the AU summit.

Thursday, after preliminary meetings among ministers, the AU announced the number of peacekeepers would be boosted to around 8,000 with the addition of troops from Guinea.

Saturday, former British prime minister Gordon Brown addressed a preliminary meeting in Kampala.

He told participants the world needs Africa and said future economic growth depends on harnessing the production and consumer demand potential across the continent.

It was Mr. Brown’s first public appearance since leaving office.

Friday, the United States announced that Attorney General Eric Holder will also address the summit in Kampala.  He is expected to arrive Sunday.  (*)

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