: African press review 19 January 2015

British newspaper The Guardian is running an article on why Burkina Faso was attacked by Al-Qaeda last Friday. At least 30 people were killed  after an attack by armed group Al-Quaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Ouagadougou.

By targeting the Splendid Hotel, popular amongst expats and the Burkinabé elite, the armed group is sending a message to the world, the Guardian reads.

But that’s not the only thing: AQIM is also adressing a message to rival group Islamic State, saying that it is “once again a force to be reckoned with”.

“Secondly, the attack is a message to France and its Operation Barkhanea – a 3,000-strong military force spanning five countries intended to combat Islamist militancy. The message is that the intervention is not working” says the british paper.

” Finally, it was also a message to Burkina Faso’s new government that now falls within AQIM’s expanding theatre of operations” adds the paper.

The worst , though,  is that the attack is a reminder to the Burkinabés – a reminder that “their fight for self-determination is not over yet”.

The Kenyan press is headlining on last Friday’s Al-Shebab attack on military forces.

We still don’t know how many soldiers were killed, but according to The Standard, Kenya’s military is investigating whether IS had a hand in the attack or not.

Al-Shebab – who are they?

According to the paper, armed group Al-Shebab split last year “into two groups, one supporting IS and the other allied to Al Qaeda”.

“And what’s of concern here is that “military sources say the attack in Somalia was conducted in a style increasingly being used in Iraq by IS terror gangs”.

Apparently, the use of vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices is a growing technique in attacks by IS”.


According to The Standard, “the execution was well timed to take advantage of a “tactical weakness” during a rotation of forces”.

Now to Egypt, and a proposed anti-terrorism law that the Egypt Independent is reporting on.

The country’s parliament backed a controversial bill that sets up “special courts and shield its enforcers from legal ramifications”.

“The law is one of roughly 400 that were issued by executive decree during the more than three years in which Egypt was governed without a Parliament” explains the paper.

The law details sentences for various terrorism related crimes, but also “fines journalists for contradicting the authorities’ version of any militant attack”.

According to the paper, human rights groups are accusing President Sisi “of rolling back freedoms won in the 2011 uprising that saw the fall of Hosni Mubarak”.

Some worry that, given the current climate and the insurgency in the Egyptian Sinai, the law will be used on a daily basis.

Finally today, according to a new report Johannesburg is set to be “the biggest city in Africa by 2030 in terms of gross domestic product” according to Business Day.

The paper reports on new forecasts made by an Oxford Economics report, which predict how 770 cities around the world will look by 2030.

According to the Global Cities 2030 study, ” Africa’s cities will feel fundamentally different to those in Asia and other continents: they will be overwhelmingly young”.

And while, according to Business day,the explosion in the under-14 population is an opportunity, it also represents a risk for the continent, “as it seeks to absorb millions of young people into the urban labour force”.

Unemployment still affects about 35% of the South African youth.

Source: rfi afrique