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What the African papers said about the war: extracts from around the continent. (Cover Story: The Iraq War and Africa).

"Africa will suffer


APRIL 3, 2003


Africa will suffer many direct and indirect consequences of the Anglo-American war on Iraq. One, the price of fuel has risen and this has a multiplier effect on other goods and services like transport, consumer items and tourism, since the majority of our countries are not oil-producing and are landlocked.

... The international divisions between the majority of the peoples of the world and the Anglo-American aggressors is also consuming Africa. While the overwhelming majority of African countries and Africans are opposed to this attack, a minority of our Presidents (not the people) are supporting the aggression. They are showing up themselves as lackeys of the United States who can only ask 'how high' every time the US says jump.

This is very bad for building African consensus on peace and security issues. Long after the Bush men of the White House would have forgotten that some banana and njera republics supported them in Iraq, the suspicions against these regimes will remain among Africans.

Money going to wrong purposes



APRIL 7, 2003


The estimated Gulf war supplementary figure of $75bn by the White House ... does not include the inevitable loss of precious human lives. Civilians or otherwise. There's a lot of good that this kind of money can do to alleviate poverty, increase relief food rations, build infrastructure and provide healthcare to the suffering lot across Africa.

...If only U.S. President George Bush could see things differently. On matters African, his administration (especially on foreign policies) has its priorities all mixed up. Washington may have the budget of war all clear, but the resulting shocks and effects has its eyes all blurred.

Churches condemn war


APRIL 3, 2003



As war machines roar in Iraq deserts, religious leaders in Kenya are getting anxious. Even though they are over 4000 kilometres away, the leaders fear that the crisis could trigger off more terrorist attacks, erode Christian-Muslim relationship, and impact negatively on the economy...

From Durban to Lagos, across the Pacific to the Mediterranean, and in villages, church elders have spoken with one voice, disapproving the war as evil. The Vatican, the highest seat of the Catholic Church, has since made a fresh appeal for peace, with Pope John Paul II saying that his heart was oppressed by the war.

...But the worst fear is that the war, in spite of the fact that it has nothing to do with religion, may cause collision between Muslims and Christians...

"The church wants peaceful solution to the Iraq crisis. It does not want to see bloodshed. It is wrong for us to go for war when we have peaceful options of solving the conflict," Anglican Archbishop, Most Rev. Benjamin Nzimbi, had then said.

...Holding similar views is Catholic Father, Emmanuel Ngugi, the priest in charge of Holy Family Basilica in Nairobi.

He says that even though the American government was still hungry for revenge over the September 11 attacks, it could have solved the present crisis through peaceful means.

"Terrorism at all costs is bad, and any kind should be stopped. We achieve little by seeking revenge. The world should listen to the UN's non-violent approach." says Fr. Ngugi. He goes on: "It looks to me that there is more to the Iraq war than just disarming the country. It looks as though it is being driven by economic interest on oil."

Reaffirming the Catholic stand on the matter, Archbishop of Mombasa, John Njenga, had warned just before war broke out, that it would spell disaster to world peace. The archbishop had said the Church advocated a non-violent resolution to conflicts.

Fear is the key



APRIL 6, 2003


Can there be a world state of mind? Some such phenomenon has surely existed for the past many weeks, except, perhaps, in those enclaves isolated by nature--if impenetrable forest and impassable ice haven't been finally invaded by information technology.

...Thucydides was the first philosopher I educated myself with as an adolescent; it is natural that I go back to him now and find in an old notebook another take on the phenomenon of fear. "That war is an evil is something that we all know, and it would be pointless to go on cataloguing all the disadvantages involved in it. No one is forced into war by ignorance, nor, if he thinks he will gain from it, is kept out by fear."

The mass protests against the US-led war on Iraq are made on the conviction that the gain, by war, of control of the world's second-greatest oilfields is not "kept out" by fear that thousands of the people categorised as "enemy-led" will be killed, and body bags of righteous young victors will never require fuel oil again.
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Publication:African Business
Geographic Code:60AFR
Date:May 1, 2003
Previous Article:A hollow victory. (The Iraq War and Africa).
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