Hundreds just died in Africa’s worst ever terror attack. Why doesn’t the West care who murdered them?

More than 300 people were killed in Somalia after a truck bomb targeted a busy road in the capital Mogadishu on 14 October. The death toll is likely to increase as hundreds more were injured in the bombing, and it is still too early to know how many are currently trapped in the rubble.

What is certain, however, is that this is the worst Vehicle Bound Improvise Explosive Device in the history of Somalia and Africa ever since Al-Qaeda (AQ)was blamed for the twin attacks on US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, in which around 220 people died.

Al-Shabaab has not yet claimed responsibility. However, no-one else but this group is likely to be behind it.

There are two Shabaabs operating in Somalia, the main and most powerful faction is the AQ-backed one, but another splinter supports the ideology of the Isis terror group. In view of the nature of the attack, it could be either faction behind it, as both splinters use same tactics and have same identified enemies. Hence the choice of target: The middle of a busy foreign office sector, government buildings and hotels with foreigners.

In the unlikely event that this attack is not directly linked to either factions, it would only be Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim), which has such a capability in that region. However, Aqim would need the assistance or clearance from their Shabaab counterpart for it to succeed.

Regardless of whichever group might be behind the attack, what we fail to understand is that civilians continue to pay the price of deadly insurgencies. Furthermore, it seems that the global war against terrorism and terrorist actions against civilians is only truly global when it concerns European and Western targets and interests, not otherwise.

Mogadishu
Scene of the devestaion following after a truck bomb exploded outside a hotel at a busy junction in Somalia’s capital MogadishuGetty

Reciting a few lines of poetry, flooding the social media with ‘Je suis Mogadishu’ and sending motions of support to victims of this bloody carnage will not undo the devastating effects of the bombing. Yet, the global media and world leaders’ comparative silence on what I call the ‘Mogadishu father of all bombs’ attack is truly sad.

The international community is always comparatively slow to react when a terrorist attack happens outside the European or Western circle, especially if Western citizens are not the main or majority of the victims.It is these double standards of global reaction to terrorist attacks that make such attacks even more painful to victims.

The Mogadishu attack is evidence that the blood of people in the developing world – Middle East and Africa – is not worth international reaction and condemnation as compared to their Western counterparts.

A double standard that increases radicalisation and hatred towards the West and benefits this barbaric non-state violent group . It gives more credit to the common rhetoric, that the West is behind the chaos in Africa and the Middle East. And that their direct and indirect actions and foreign policies have resulted in the proliferation and continuous sustenance of terrorist groups like Shabaab and Boko Haram in Africa.

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