We Mourn for Brussels, But What About Grand Bassam?

The ripple of the sounds of people chanting seemed to come in waves. The crowd occasionally stirred around the makeshift memorial. Some have flags, others are laying down wreaths and flowers. I observed some with grave faces, as sobs puncture the Belgium capital.

This is Brussels; I watched Reuters show the live Newsfeed.

Moved, I was mournful of the loss of lives in this senseless attack. Other News outlets have made it a point to let this atrocity be known loudly, far and wide.

At least 34 people were killed in bombings at the Zaventem Airport, and the Maelbeek metro station that took place on Tuesday, March 22.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility.

Before that, on Sunday March 13, Terrorists armed with

Weapons used by terrorists in Ivory Coast
Weapons used by terrorists in Ivory Coast

Kalashnikov rifles and hand grenades opened fire on a beach in Grand-Bassam, a historic city that was Ivory Coast’s first capital. It is about 25 miles east of the present-day capital of Abidjan.

At least 22 people died in this horrible terrorist attack on this oceanfront beach resort – not killed as was mostly reported if at all, in the Brussels case.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility.

In January, a hotel attack in Burkina Faso killed at least 29 people, AQIM again claimed responsibility.

In November, a siege on a hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako killed 27 hostages. Another al-Qaeda affiliate, al-Mourabitoun, claimed responsibility.

All these resemble an attack on a Tunisian beach in North Africa in June that killed 38 people and was claimed by the Islamic State.

These are precarious times and shivers of fear are sent around the world all over. Rightly so because this can happen anywhere and it could affect anyone.

My irritation is how bias the reporting has been.

Why is it that when it happens to Africans or on the African continent it is casually handled as though it were not important?

When it happens anywhere in the Western Hemisphere, condolences come in from around the world. The Eiffel Tower in Paris, the World Trade Center in New York, Rome’s Trevi Fountain, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Lisbon city hall and the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai were all illuminated in the Belgian flag paying tribute to the victims of the Brussels atrocities.

How about the flag of Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso or Guinea? Are lives not as important in these African countries? Their National flags did not earn the privilege of adorning any notable world landmarks.

Often, I can’t help but wonder whether ‘Black lives do matter’?

And as if to add insults to injury, some people are even crying foul that President Obama went to see a Baseball game in Cuba while people were being slaughtered in Belgium , not Ivory Coast or the other places that have suffered equally devastating attacks, if not more brutal.

For people that know the history of the brutalities of Colonial Belgium, mostly in African countries, they would quickly say this is a sliver of the case of chicken coming home to roost. Clearly, I don’t want to delve into colonial atrocities here, nor do I condone any acts of violence or retaliatory sentiments.

My plea here is simply giving similar or even – I dare to say – equal news coverage about African lives when terrorists attack and kill them too.



What can be done about the lack of equal News Coverage when it comes to Terrorist Attacks in Africa countries?

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