Point of View // 09.26.2013

Those who are opposed to terrorism should not terrorise others- African Proverb

Article by Aba H

I was browsing through my Facebook home page on Saturday afternoon when I saw the unfortunate news of the terrorist attack at Nairobi’s Westgate mall. Terrorist activity hasn’t been limited to the Middle East, Europe and the US, for several years Africa too has become a victim of terrorism. For those of you who aren’t from Africa or aren’t too familiar with the continent let me give you a short background.

Nigeria has had frequent terrorist attacks from Boko Haram meaning “Western education is sinful”. Boko Haram is mainly based northern Nigeria, parts of Cameroon and Niger. More recently we’ve also had militant terrorist in Mali attempting to take control of the country. There’s more, Al shabbab has been causing destruction Somalia for decades and the more 60 victims who have lost their lives since Saturday’s terrorist attacks in Nairobi are their latest victims. The long and short of it is that Kenya sent troops into Somali to fight against Al shabbab (the Somali terrorist group) and ever since there have been numerous attacks targeted against Kenyans the latest of which was on Saturday.

Among the dead include one of Africans greatest authors, poets and statesmen Professor Kofi Awoonor, 78, who was confirmed dead by Ghana’s Deputy Information Minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu. The Ghanaian national was attending a literary event in Nairobi when he went to the mall with his son, who was wounded but has now been discharged from hospital. Not only was he an author and poet but a diplomat to Brazil and Cuba in the 1980s and a representative to the United Nations in early 1990s.

These events got me thinking about how we treat each other on a day-to-day basis. We might not have explosives wrapped around our waists but do we inflict difficulties and fear on others for our own gain? If yes, then in our own ways we are perpetuators of evil and not good. If we say we are outraged by terrorism, then we need to do our small part each day to overcome evil and be perpetuators of good.

To Professor Awoonor’s family and the families of all those killed in this merciless act, Tempo sends our sincerest condolences to you all. May the souls of the bereaved be comforted and the souls of the departed rest in eternal peace.

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