The US Mission in Kampala on Thursday said a suspicious object found near its premises during a Wednesday afternoon bomb scare contained traces of explosives but was not an explosive device.
Responding to a Daily Monitor inquiry, Ms Joann Lockard, the Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy in Kampala, said US Mission security officials and their Ugandan counterparts moved in quickly to secure the Embassy and cordon it off to enable them carry out investigations.
“At around 1:45pm yesterday afternoon, a suspicious object was found outside the wall of the US Mission,” she said. “The Ugandan authorities have determined that it was not an explosive device despite the fact that traces of explosives were found on the object.”
Ms Lockard described the object, which was found outside the US Mission compound, as “a suspicious piece of plastic pipe.”
The US Mission shifted its offices from the crowded Parliament Avenue in 2000 to its current, heavily fortified premises along Gaba Road in the Kampala suburb of Nsambya for security reasons.
The change of premises was effected after the near simultaneous bombing attacks on the US Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, which occurred on August 7, 1998. The two attacks, which claimed hundreds of people, were reportedly carried out by Al Qaeda.
In June last year, Uganda suffered its own twin bomb attacks when bombs went off at two entertainment spots, killing nearly 100 people watching the World Cup final and injuring several others. Al-Qaeda affiliate Somali militant group, Al Shabaab claimed that it had carried out the attacks.
Uganda provides the bulk of soldiers who form the African Union Mission in Africa (Amisom), which is propping up Somalia Transitional Federal Government led by Sheikh Sharif Ahmed.
Ms Lockard added that the bomb scare had not affected work at the embassy. She said, “The US Mission remains open and welcomes Ugandans to visit facilities such as the Information Resource Centre and Consular Section.”