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Wednesday, 12 September, 2001, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Kenyan bomb survivor advises 'togetherness'
New York at dawn
New York at dawn - barges have ferried bodies across the river
Douglas Sidialo will never forget 7 August 1998, the day a bomb exploded in the US embassy in Nairobi.

He was driving to work just 100 metres from the embassy building when the bomb went off.

He was fortunate to survive but he lost his sight and his job in the blast.


I ask George Bush to exercise restraint. If he retaliates, he could build up the Third World War and that's not what we want

Douglas Sidialo
"Having gone through the same experience...I feel with them, I am affected just as they are," he told BBC News Online.

"When I heard the news, I was shocked, in a state of anxiety and disbelief. I offer my condolences to the US Government, the families of the victims and the survivors," he said.

Mr Sidialo is chairman of Visual 7 August, a group set up to help the victims of the Nairobi embassy bombing.

'Togetherness'

And he would like to offer the benefit of his experience to the victims of the US attacks in person.

"If I had the capacity and the resources, I would love to go there to comfort and console the victims," he said.

Douglas Sidialo
Sidialo has offered to go to the US to help counsel the victims

Asked what advice he could offer to survivors and the victims' families after three years of coping with his own trauma, he said: "Let them empathise with each other. Only through togetherness and being a strong, united family can they move on."

"They need to believe in the strength of the Lord," he added.

Mr Sidialo also thought it was important for this solidarity to be expressed internationally.

"Britain, France, African nations and the Arabic countries should join hands to support the US in such difficult times."

But he had words of warning for the US President.

"I ask George Bush to exercise restraint. If he retaliates, he could build up the Third World War and that's not what we want."

See also:

12 Sep 01 | Americas
'I know we're all going to die'
12 Sep 01 | South Asia
Bin Laden extradition raised
07 Aug 01 | Africa
Kenya remembers bomb victims
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