: African press review 23 November 2015

We start with more reactions in today’s South African papers to the terror attacks in Paris.

Mail and Guardian holds that 12 years ago, George W Bush gave his “Mission Accomplished” speech from the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier, confident that the Saddam Hussein regime had been consigned to the dustbin of history, the Taliban regime had been terminated, al-Qaeda was dispersed, if not destroyed, and the desperately needed New American Century was back on track.

That’s what he thought. Instead, over the following decade, hundreds of thousands died in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, says the Johannesburg publication.

For M&G, in the past two years, the latest manifestation of al-Qaeda’s terrorist ideology, Islamic State, has grown apace to affect millions of people across north-east Syria and north-west Iraq, even in the face of an intensive air campaign against them.

The US air war, Operation Inherent resolve, has – according to the latest figures from the US Department of Defense – involved more than 8,125 airstrikes and has hit more than 16,000 targets. An estimated 20,000 IS supporters have been killled, yet the number of fighters that IS can deploy – between 20,000 and 30,000 – is unchanged.

BusinessDay lends credence to President Jacob Zuma’s argument that radical extremism and terrorism will not be wiped out, if nations continue focussing on the symptoms and don’t address the root causes.

Zuma spoke in Durban on Saturday at the award of a peace prize to the African Union Commission for its sustained effort to bring freedom and peace in Africa for over fifty years.

City Press highlights a strongly worded statement issued by the South Africa’s Communist Party, a member of the ruling troika in the aftermaths of the attacks in Paris and Mali.


In the statement issued at the end of a central committee meeting in Benoni, on the East Rand Sunday, the SACP Secretary General Blade Nzimande, noted that the terror attacks can be traced to interventions by the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Middle Eastern and North African countries.

Nzimande stated that without “exception the origins of these despicable acts can be traced back to the social turmoil provoked by the US-NATO regime change interventions, particularly in Iraq and Libya, and the current regime change strategy in Syria.”

Sunday Times expresses consternation at a strange debate entertained by admirers of al-Qaida and the rival Islamic State who are jostling on social media over which of the jihad organizations was more righteous and more prominent.

According to the newspaper, even before the hostage crisis at a Malian hotel was over, one apparent supporter of al-Qaida, quickly declared on Twitter that the Islamic State could “learn a thing or two” from the Mali attack.

Militants linked to al-Qaida took credit for the hotel attack. And while the group cited local grievances as the rationale, it was also clear that the hostage-taking played into the growing and violent rivalry between the two groups.

“They don’t operate in #Mali,” the post said, adding that “we all know who operated there.” a suggestion according to Sunday Times that the newer, upstart group had carried it out.
“Lions who carried out #MaliAttack separated Muslims from Christian in order2 protect the inviolable blood of Muslims,” one supporter wrote on Twitter.

Another — calling himself Abu Sufian al-Libi, or the Libyan, on a Twitter profile that suggested he was fighting in Syria with al-Qaida’s Nusra Front affiliate responded enthusiastically.

“This is how Muslims should act!” he wrote, adding that the Islamic State “should learn a thing or two and drop their crooked creed and methodology,” an apparent reference to the group’s willingness to include Muslims in its slaughter of civilians. Muslims account for a majority of the Islamic State’s victims in Iraq and Syria, and some of those killed in Paris last week.

Source: rfi afrique