148 Garissa University students have been savagely killed by the Shabab extremist organisation on the last week. Footages are horrible and there are no words to explain this chaos. There is no justification to excuse the butchers who deliberately killed boys and girls, only guilty for studying to make their country a better place.
Most people throughout the world reacted to condemn the attack and express their solidarity with the Kenyan people but the echo was not the same in comparison with what happened in Paris or recently in Tunis, three weeks ago. No Western president or African leader proposed to join and participate to a march to condemn terrorism and say “Je suis keynan”. Neither François Hollande, Angela Merkel nor Faure Gnassingbé (the Togolese president) took their plane to Nairobi to express their solidarity with the Kenyan president Kenyatta, as if they considered this event as a fatality as Africa is used to living for years.
The recent Paris attacks encouraged thousands of French citizens to demonstrate on the streets to express their attachment to the French Republican values and freedom of speech. François Hollande flew to Tunis and participated to the march against terrorism, some weeks ago. But no international initiative and no international call have been done so far to condemn Garissa attack and support Africa.
Garissa attacks are so important as Paris or Tunis tragedies, not only due to the causalities or the terrorist aspect, nonetheless. In Kenya, Fundamentalist, by killing students, tackled education and knowledge because they considered these fundamental rights in opposition to religion and a strict interpretation of the Koran, as they were strictly opposed to the freedom of speech in Paris and the access to culture at Tunis.
In this international context, terrorism does not make difference between a Western or a black African person but tackles everything which does not fit with the holy texts. Faced with terrorism, global response is required but global solidarity and mobilization too! Kenya’s tragedy should not be considered as a more fatality, something we cannot do anymore because it is in Black Africa and there are no European or North American victims.
Africa already faced with terrorism seventeen years ago when two bombs exploded in the US Embassy in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salam, killing near 200 people. Al-Qaeda was responsible for this attack and Western countries should have paid more attention to tackle terrorism, by more cooperation with African countries. Garissa attacks show, vis-à-vis terrorism, international and close cooperation is needed because every country is concerned, whatever it is located in Europe or in Africa. Access to education, right to learn and culture are the same in Garissa, Paris and Tunis and there should not be selective indignation or formal condemnation according to the country or people killed. Terrorism is an international issue and world leaders should be aware of this now, which also supposes another reaction, no a kind of indifference or, worse, political cynicism, because it happens in Africa and it was black people. Religious fanaticism has no borders, no mercy and makes no distinction between ethnics. That’s the message Hollande, Merkel, Cameron, Sall, Essebsi and the other leaders should have addressed to their counterpart, if they were in Nairobi, this Monday.