In this week’s round-up of social media activity around Africa, Sokari Ekine highlights reasons to oppose military intervention in Libya, the politics of a ‘no-fly zone’ and reports of torture of Egyptian activists at the hands of a military previously heralded as a champion of the people’s cause. She also focuses on the Cameroonian government’s Twitter crackdown, planned protests against Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and Côte d’Ivoire’s ongoing post-election crisis … //
… (LYBIA): … Despite statements to the contrary, are we really to believe that the Arab League and southern European countries are not secretly hoping Gaddafi will prevail? Their dilemma is now how to stop fleeing refugees from North Africa landing on their shores. Only yesterday Malta and Italy turned away a ship carrying 1,800 refugees from Libya.
The Italian foreign minister was quoted as saying, ‘We can’t know if there are terrorists aboard.’ A boat from Tunisia carrying about 40 people capsized. Another boat managed to rescue just five of the passengers. At present there are about 10,000 refugees on the Italian island of Lampedusa.
The people however think differently, as these two quotes show:
‘Any ambivalence about that regime, gone, gone, gone. It is brutal, corrupt, deceitful, delusional’ (Helen Sheeham, Marxist scholar invited to Libya just before the revolt broke out).
‘COSATU does not accept however that these achievements in any way excuse the slaughter of those protesting against the oppressive dictatorship of Colonel Gaddafi and reaffirms its support for democracy and human rights in Libya and throughout the continent.’
Libyan writer Mustafa Abduallah writes that Gaddafi may have won a battle here and there but his regime, his theory, is over. The Green Book is so obsolete that it cannot even be recycled. Abduallah’s essay is a sad lament for the losses the revolutionaries have incurred. He lays some of the blame on those who ‘remained silent’ in the face of the young who have given their lives in the pursuit of liberation.
EGYPT: … //
… WEST AFRICA – CAMEROON, SENEGAL, COTE D’IVOIRE
Last week in a desperate attempt to halt communication by protestors, President Paul Biya’s government forced mobile operator MTN to ban Twitter SMS. Cameroonian blogger Dibussi Tande rightly commented:
‘unless the government plans a total Internet blackout, including the banning of all mobile phones and standard SMS, then it has embarked on a very futile battle which it will never win.’ (full text).