Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

 You are in:  Talking Point: Debates: African
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Friday, 12 October, 2001, 09:49 GMT 10:49 UK
How should Africa respond?
African government reaction to the American-led military action in Afghanistan has been mixed.

Sudan, once a target for US military strikes against alleged terrorists, became the first African country to publicly criticise the air assaults, claiming they are targeted against Afghan Muslims.

Yet, Nigeria has supported them and Liberia has offered assistance.

Many other governments are refusing to comment. What do you think Africa's response should be?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Africa is not exempt from terrorist attacks

Peter, Netherlands
The bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed local people in addition to Americans, show that Africa is not exempt from terrorist attacks. In these circumstances it is not possible just to shrug off the whole thing as an "American" problem. It follows that African countries should offer support of the allied effort, should circumstances so require.
Peter, Netherlands

From mosques to churches and from temples to other places of worship, we need to offer prayers for the innocent victims dying in Afghanistan and those dead in the United States attacks.
Lamin Tunkara, Gambia/USA

Africa has condemned the terrible acts of 11th September. That's about all the continent can afford. It is such a poor place with inhumane leaders who have no regard for their own people. Africa cannot afford to get involved in the battles of the heavyweights. As the saying goes, in a battle of elephants, it's the small ants that get crushed.
Patrick, UK

The people of Africa must be aware of the danger that the terrorists pose

T.C., Sweden
The people of Africa must be aware of the danger that the terrorists pose. Don't forget that Bin Laden and his followers murdered hundreds of innocent Africans in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. In Sudan our African brothers and sisters are being mass murdered by Islamic fanatics. We in sub-Saharan Africa have nothing in common with the Arab world.
T.C., Sweden

I wish for a world where all nations and religions can together live in peace and unison. No matter who we believe our God to be, respect each other's differences and live our own lives. Peace be with you all.
Kristi, USA

I think we should take this terrible event as an example and for once, UNITE and bring our people prosperity, development and the high living standards that we all should have, given the fact that Africa has vast natural resources and beauty. It is unacceptable to see the way our people suffer because of wars. It is time for us to get together and fix our own problems so that we can create a better Africa.
EM, Angola

As a result of colonialism and the oppressive Western foreign policy in the 20th century, people in Africa are dying every day from Aids, poverty, ethnic rivalry, famine etc. The Western nations turn a blind eye to this. So why should Africans care about the West which has never come to its aid? First, eradicate the evils that plague our continent, then we will think about supporting the West.
Mumbua, Kenya

Any comment from Africa means nothing at all

Fikre Bizuneh, Ethiopia, USA
The US has already made its mind on what's going to happen to the Taleban and has already received support from 'key' allies like Britain and Pakistan. So in my opinion any comment from Africa means nothing at all. That is why most Africans are watching from a distance.
Fikre Bizuneh, Ethiopia, USA

Africa should mind its own business. This war is about the Americans, let them handle it the best way they can. Furthermore they are always in everyone's business.
Jane, Canada

Every right thinking person knows that this is NOT a religious war against Islam. America was attacked and not the other way round. All responsible African countries should present a strong unified condemnation of the terrorists and voice a moral and political support for the United States. This is the greatest and charitable country in the world. I guess the old saying is true that when you are at the top, lesser entities ceaselessly plot to bring you down.
Uche M. Chiemeka, Dallas, TX/USA

We're all victims of America's ill-planned foreign policies. Make no mistake, powerlessness and desperation lead people to desperate reactions.
Sam Yenge, D.R. Congo

I agree with MP, UK (Zimbo). African people have many problems of their own and they need to take care of the terrorists among us...those killing and maming innocent people and children. Charity begins at home.
JPB, USA/Sierra Leone

I think Africa should wake up

Lyumina, UK
I think Africa should wake up. What we need to do is UNITE. The resources that Western nations use to build and kill other people come from us. Western nations commit the same kind of murders as the terrorists themselves. These nations spend a lot of money building killing machines while our people die of poverty. Our Arab brothers in the north should make more effort to work with Sub-Saharan Africa so we can unite as soon as possible.
Lyumina, UK

The bombs that Mr Bin Laden freely admits to orchestrating in Africa, killed far more black Africans than the intended Americans. To me this shows that as far as Bin Laden is concerned black Africans are not only expendable but inconsequential.
Babatunde., London, England

I think Africa has so many problems of its own that it is impossible for the continent to make any useful contribution or comment about what is going on. There are enough crazy politicians in Africa, it does not need terrorists from other continents. It is better to keep out of this.

African governments and indeed the people of Africa should unite firmly and courageously behind America and her allies

Ernest Cole, The Gambia/Sierra Leone
The fight against terrorism is not to be confused with religion, nationalism, race relations and other social affiliations. It represents the union of all nations of the world in their firm conviction and struggle against this emerging menace of suicide bombings, death-directed hijackings and religious fanaticism that dispel terror and threaten to destroy humanity if not eradicated. In this regard, African governments and indeed the people of Africa should unite firmly and courageously behind America and her allies to eradicate terrorism once and for all, and make this world a decent place to live.
Ernest Cole, The Gambia/Sierra Leone

America is more than capable of looking after its own interests. Africa should, for once, focus on the misery that our so-called leaders have so needlessly inflicted upon our helpless people.

Africans are victims of the terrorist attack be it in their own land, Kenya and Tanzania or abroad in the US. They should line up with the international community and take part in any action that will crush terrorism. Our Muslim brothers in Africa should not be dragged by the fanatical call of Osama. As George Bush and Tony Blair spelt out, the war is against the suspected terrorists and those who hide them. The message is very clear. This is not a war of religion but we need to pray for the innocent Afghans.
Kebede Ali, Ethiopia

I hope the attacks won't last longer than necessary and no human life will be treated as being second class. It is time we really thought about causes of these nightmares. Let us eradicate the causes of the attacks and counterattacks. Sanctity of life should at all times be guaranteed.
Francis, Weimar, Germany

See also:

09 Oct 01 | Africa
Sudan condemns US Afghan strikes
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more African stories