Raila’s US Trip Breathes Life Into Congress Fund for Kenyan Bomb Victims

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    An undated photo of ODM leader Raila Odinga inside an aeroplane
    File
  • Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga's recent trip to the United States may have had a positive impact on the lives of the 1998 Nairobi bomb blast survivors.

    A statement shared by Azimio on Thursday, May 19, indicated that the former Prime Minister met with representatives of the Kenyan victims of the 1998 Nairobi Embassy bombing in Washington DC.

    After the meeting, the former Prime Minister renewed his support for the victims' ongoing efforts for compensation and recognition.

    New legislation seeking to include the Kenyan victims in the US Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Act is set to hit the floor of Congress in a few weeks.

    Bombing Incident That Rocked American Embassy in Nairobi on August 7, 1998
    Bombing Incident That Rocked American Embassy in Nairobi on August 7, 1998
    DW

    "Odinga is encouraged that the US Congress will have the opportunity in the next several weeks and months to consider legislation which will make the Kenyan victims eligible to participate in a United States Congressional fund providing compensation to the victims of terrorist attacks on the United States.

    "The existing legislation - The US Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Act - does not currently establish the eligibility of the Kenyan victims and their surviving spouses for any recognition and compensation. The new proposals would amend the law to include Kenyan victims in such recognition and compensation," read the statement in part.

    The former Prime Minister further explained that the adoption would bolster Kenya-US relations and urged them to adopt the amendment.

    Raila visited the US on Friday, April 22, where he vouched for his presidential bid and the US to rally behind his candidature ahead of the August polls.

    During the visit, he also met Kenyans in Washington DC where he briefed them on the state of the nation's politics as well as the upcoming General Election.

    His trip was, however, cut short by the demise of the country's third President, Mwai Kibaki.

    On Friday, August 7, 1998, Kenya was treated to horrific scenes after terrorists linked to the Al-Qaeda network hit the US Embassy in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

    The 1998 Nairobi bomb blast left over 200 people dead while 5,000 others sustained injuries.

    US Embassy in Nairobi August 7, 1998, bombing
    US Embassy in Nairobi August 7, 1998, bombing
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