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Friday, 21 September, 2001, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK
African media points way for Bush
Africa Media Watch
More than a week after the terrorist attacks in the United States, the African media's near-universal declarations of condemnation and sympathy continued - but were tempered with more critical evaluations.

As the news pages tallied those missing in the rubble of the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, editorial writers had plenty of advice for Washington.

Although Africa is less entwined than other continents with the world trading system embodied in New York's twin towers, Johannesburg's Mail and Guardian reported that six South Africans were missing, and said that authorities have requested DNA samples from family members.


American fury is justifiable. Nevertheless, America must not forget that anger is a bad counsellor

Ivory Coast's Fraternite Matin
The Herald in Harare said that two Zimbabweans were missing - one in New York and the other a computer engineer in the Pentagon, while Nigeria's Guardian reported only that the consulate in New York was compiling a list of missing persons and that "the response has not been encouraging".

Understandable anger

Americans' anger met with a great deal of understanding, but it was coupled with cautionary words over what a knee-jerk response would achieve.

"American fury is justifiable," said Ivory Coast's Fraternite Matin. "Nevertheless, America must not forget that anger is a bad counsellor."


If Bush does not send men with guns somewhere by the weekend, he will have some domestic damage limitation to do

The Star of Johannesburg
"An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth! This is, in reality, what the Americans are clamouring for."

"But is this going to solve the problem?" the Abidjan daily asked.

A fine line

The Star of Johannesburg sympathised with US President George Bush, stuck between an outraged public and the necessities of global diplomacy.

"No one can accuse Bush of acting precipitously," it wrote. "On the contrary, if he does not send men with guns somewhere by the weekend, he will have some domestic damage limitation to do.


Killings and bombings will be for nought if Bush does not have an enlightened political plan to accompany them

South Africa's Business Day
"The man had best heed the call from compatriots who are hurting, shocked and furious."

South Africa's Business Day echoed this dilemma.

"Bush's job is to rally his country and as much of the world as possible behind whatever response the US selects," it declared.

"The Americans must be allowed the opportunity to openly and tangibly vent their rage.

An enlightened response


Perhaps the US needs to revise some of its stances, attitudes and policies that seem to make more enemies than friends

Zimbabwe's Financial Gazette
"But killings and bombings will be for nought if Bush does not have an enlightened political plan to accompany them," the Johannesburg paper said.

A column in Zimbabwe's Financial Gazette urged America to "search deep within its conscience".

"Perhaps the US needs to revise some of its stances, attitudes and policies that seem to make more enemies than friends," wrote Maggie Mzumara, a Zimbabwean journalist based in New York.

Algeria's La Tribune said that maybe one day Osama Bin Laden would "explain to us why a young Muslim somewhere, who works, has housing, and enjoys the same freedoms as an Australian or a German, might wage war on Christians."

A changed world

Many publications said that last week's tragedy had changed the world - and hoped that it would be for the better.


Who doubts that the USA will emerge even more powerful after this tragedy?

CRTV Radio in Cameroon
"If the world really did change over Manhattan, US reluctance to force a fair peace in the Middle East must not be allowed to be the one constant in the "old" world that is allowed to spill over into the new," Johannesburg's Business Day said.

Notre Voie of Ivory Coast said that the perpetrators would soon be the "target of a popular and international manhunt that will no longer allow them to engage in their mean task".

"However noble it may be, any cause that is defended without ethics leads to defeat," it said.

"Besides," asked a CRTV Radio commentary in Cameroon, "who doubts that the USA will emerge even more powerful after this tragedy?"

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

See also:

21 Sep 01 | Americas
Bush raises stakes
14 Sep 01 | Africa
African press on 'day of infamy'
20 Sep 01 | Middle East
Algeria 'gives US terror list'
13 Sep 01 | Africa
First African deaths in US attack
07 Aug 01 | Africa
Kenya remembers bomb victims
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