13 August 1998


Press Release
SC/6559



SECURITY COUNCIL STRONGLY CONDEMNS TERRORIST BOMB ATTACKS IN NAIROBI AND DAR ES SALAAM ON 7 AUGUST

19980813
Council Observes Minute of Silence In Memory of Those Who Tragically Lost Their Lives

The Security Council this evening strongly condemned the terrorist bomb attacks in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, on 7 August, which claimed hundreds of innocent lives, injured thousands of others, and caused massive destruction to property.

Unanimously adopting resolution 1189 (1998), the Council called upon all States and international institutions to cooperate with and provide support and assistance to the ongoing investigations in Kenya, Tanzania and the United States to apprehend the perpetrators of those cowardly criminal acts and swiftly bring them to justice.

In a related provision, all States were called upon to adopt, in accordance with international law and as a matter of priority, effective and practical measures for security cooperation, for the prevention of such acts of terrorism, and for the prosecution and punishment of their perpetrators.

The Council expressed its deep sorrow, sympathy and condolences to the families of the innocent victims of the terrorist bomb attacks during that difficult time. It also expressed its sincere gratitude to all the Governments, international institutions and voluntary organizations for their encouragement and timely responses to the requests for assistance from the Governments of Kenya and Tanzania, and urged them to assist the affected countries especially in the reconstruction of infrastructure and disaster preparedness.

Before action on the text, the Council observed a minute of silence in memory of those who so tragically lost their lives. Statements were made by the representatives of Kenya, United Republic of Tanzania and United States. The Council President, Danilo Turk (Slovenia), also spoke on behalf of Council members. The meeting, which was called to order at 5:14 p.m., was adjourned at 5:26 p.m.


Council Work Programme

The Security Council met this afternoon to consider the following agenda item: "Threats to peace and security caused by international terrorists acts".

The Council had before it the text of a draft resolution (document S/1998/748), as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Deeply disturbed by the indiscriminate and outrageous acts of international terrorism that took place on 7 August 1998 in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania,

"Condemning such acts, which have a damaging effect on international relations and jeopardize the security of States,

"Convinced that the suppression of acts of international terrorism is essential for the maintenance of international peace and security, and reaffirming the determination of the international community to eliminate international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,

"Also reaffirming the obligations of Member States under the Charter of the United Nations,

"Stressing that every Member State has the duty to refrain from organizing, instigating, assisting or participating in terrorist acts in another State or acquiescing in organized activities within its territory directed towards the commission of such acts,

"Mindful of General Assembly resolution 52/164 of 15 December 1997 on the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings,

"Recalling that, in the statement issued on 31 January 1992 (S/23500) on the occasion of the meeting of the Security Council at the level of Heads of State and Government, the Council expressed its deep concern over acts of international terrorism, and emphasized the need for the international community to deal effectively with all such criminal acts,

"Also stressing the need to strengthen international cooperation between States in order to adopt practical and effective measures to prevent, combat and eliminate all forms of terrorism affecting the international community as a whole,

"Commending the responses of the Governments of Kenya, Tanzania and the United States of America to the terrorist bomb attacks in Kenya and Tanzania,


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"Determined to eliminate international terrorism,

"1. Strongly condemns the terrorist bomb attacks in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania on 7 August 1998 which claimed hundreds of innocent lives, injured thousands of people and caused massive destruction to property;

"2. Expresses its deep sorrow, sympathy and condolences to the families of the innocent victims of the terrorist bomb attacks during this difficult time;

"3. Calls upon all States and international institutions to cooperate with and provide support and assistance to the ongoing investigations in Kenya, Tanzania and the United States to apprehend the perpetrators of these cowardly criminal acts and to bring them swiftly to justice;

"4. Expresses its sincere gratitude to all the States, international institutions and voluntary organizations for their encouragement and timely response to the requests for assistance from the Governments of Kenya and Tanzania, and urges them to assist the affected countries, especially in the reconstruction of infrastructure and disaster preparedness;

"5. Calls upon all States to adopt, in accordance with international law and as a matter of priority effective and practical measures for security cooperation, for the prevention of such acts of terrorism, and for the prosecution and punishment of their perpetrators;

"6. Decides to remain seized of the matter."

Statements

DANILO TURK (Slovenia), Council President, speaking on behalf of Council members, expressed deep sympathy to the Governments and people of Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania and the United States in connection with the great tragedy they suffered as a result of the bombings of the American Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam on 7 August, in which several United Nations staff members were also injured.

He said that the members of the Council condemned the terrorist acts against innocent civilians and requested the representatives of Kenya, Tanzania and the United States convey to their Governments and peoples, and to the bereaved families, their profound condolences. Council members hoped that the injured would make a rapid and full recovery.

He invited the Council to observe a minute of silence in memory of those who so tragically lost their lives.


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Action on Text

The Council then unanimously adopted draft resolution 1189 (1998).

Statements

ROSELYN A. ODERA (Kenya) said her delegation welcomed the opportunity to express its outrage and condemnation of the criminal and unjustified terrorist bombings which occurred almost simultaneously in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam on 7 August. Those terrorist acts were, by design, ruthless and indiscriminate. The bomb blast in Nairobi, which occurred at one of the busiest locations in terms of human traffic and commercial activities, was no exception. It had so far claimed more than 250 lives and the death toll continued to climb. Many more were either in critical condition in hospitals or were unaccounted for. More than 300 were still hospitalized, and some 4,500 innocent civilians had been treated for injuries.

One seven-story building was completely destroyed and several others within the vicinity had suffered extensive damage, she said. A total of 67 buildings had received collateral damage. Nothing could be more brutal and horrifying than the act which wiped out an entire classroom of students, waiting for their final exams. The bombings had brought mayhem and terror of an untold magnitude to two countries, which hitherto had considered themselves secure and far removed from terrorist threats and dangers. The two incidents made it abundantly clear that nobody was safe and unaffected from that heinous practice. The extension of such activities to otherwise peaceful countries had exemplified the expanding reach and growing menace of the perpetrators of terrorist acts.

The resolution before the Council was a "resounding statement of condemnation and abhorrence" of the acts carried out against innocent people, she said. The Government of Kenya would not rest until those responsible were convicted. It meanwhile appealed to Member States to cooperate with the ongoing investigations, both in Kenya and Tanzania and outside the continent, aimed at bringing the culprits to justice.

TUVAKO N. MANONGI (United Republic of Tanzania) said the resolution adopted by the Council was a confirmation of the fact that the international community was united in its unequivocal condemnation of the scourge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Being recent victims of that dastardly attack of terrorism, Kenya and Tanzania had been painfully exposed to the horror of that heinous crime.

He said Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa had committed all the country's national efforts to confront that evil and had expressed the country's firm resolve to apprehend those responsible, and to bring them to justice. The Government had appealed to the international community to come


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to its assistance for purposes of successful investigations and prosecutions. His country noted with satisfaction that the resolution adopted underscored that aspect as well.

A. PETER BURLEIGH (United States) said the United States was honoured to join with Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania in introducing the resolution on the tragic and indiscriminate terrorist bombings at the American Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. United States President William Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had conveyed the condolences of the people of the United States to the families and loved ones of the hundreds who lost their lives, and the thousands who were injured in both Kenya and Tanzania in those cowardly terrorist acts. The United States had offered to the Governments of Kenya and Tanzania its support in dealing with the tragedy, meeting their needs and working jointly and cooperatively with them to find the perpetrators.

He said the incidents of 7 August underscored that terrorists knew no boundaries in killing innocent civilians and those that sought others in need. The suppression of international terrorism, the arrest, conviction and punishment of its perpetrators were essential to the maintenance of international peace and security. The United States would not be intimidated by terrorism and would never forget its victims. The United States would spare no effort and use all the means at its disposal to track down and punish the perpetrators of those outrageous acts. He called upon all Member States to support the ongoing investigations and to apprehend the perpetrators if found on their territory, as called for in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons.

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