Although this blog's name is inspired by Sauti Kubwa ("Big Voice"), the late lead singer of Rumba Japan, a band that played in Nairobi in the early years of this century, it won't focus unduly on Swahili nicknames, rumba music or indeed any other African issues.


Monday, 12 July 2010

Uganda, Somaliland and the UK

Politicians' statements after terrorist incidents are a challenge for them. They risk appearing callous if they say nothing, but (if they have any nous) know that whatever they do say can look formalistic and insincere.

William Hague got it about right with his statement today on last night's blasts in Kampala. Short, measured and a genuine expression of condemnation and condolence.

My only quibble is with describing the attacks as "cowardly". This is meant to highlight the fact that the attackers hit purely civilian targets at their most vulnerable - without warning and on an occasion that was meant to be a fun night out. But it risks grading terrorism. Are some attacks less cowardly?

Much happier news recently from east Africa was the presidential election in Somaliland. But would anyone guess from the official British message of congratulations to the winner - by chance, on the FCO website adjacent to Hague's condolence message - that the UK (and all other countries) do not (officially) recognize Somaliland as an independent sovereign state?


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