DAR ES SALAAM, July 2 – US President Barack Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush joined up in Africa Tuesday to honour those killed in the US embassy bombing in Tanzania in 1998.
Democrat Obama and Republican Bush arrived at a memorial to the bombing victims, a block of stone in a new embassy compound in Dar es Salaam, together in a rare meeting of US leaders on foreign soil.
They stood side by side and bowed their heads in a moment of silence, after a US Marine fixed a red, white and blue wreath on a stand, and then greeted American and Tanzanian guests.
The event came on the final day of Obama’s Africa tour and while Bush was on the continent to promote humanitarian programs run by his policy centre.
The actual site of the embassy bombing, which was carried out by Al-Qaeda and killed 11 people, is a mile and a half away from the new US compound.
Fifteen Tanzanians who worked at the embassy and who survived the attack are still employees of the US mission today, the White House said.
The bombing was timed to coincide with a separate attack on the US embassy in the Kenyan capital Nairobi that left 213 dead and several thousand wounded.