In wake of the recent terrorist attacks in the French capital—Paris, people across the world have been left reeling from the cruel and inhumane acts of terror carried out by extremists with dogmatic worldviews. The world is shaken and in fear of the unknown because of these coordinated and ruthless acts of violence. People are left with more questions than answers, as everyone seeks to make sense of the bastardly carnage that took place in France.
As the world reels from the events of November 13th and world leaders meet to discuss the way forward in light of recent events, it is important to highlight the plight of various countries across the world, that are also reeling from the effects of terrorism, conflict and war.
In April 2015, Garissa Kenya was the scene of a senseless act of terror when armed men, members of the extremist Islamic group Al-Shabaab stormed in to a university, killing about 148 people. This event sent shockwaves through Africa but was hardly covered by the western media. In March, Uganda suffered the loss of Joan Kagezi, who was gun downed outside her home. Kagezi was the lead prosecutor in the case of 10 Al-Shabaab members accused of masterminding the 2010 bombing of civilians watching a soccer World Cup game at a Ugandan fan park.
In West Africa, the extremist group Boko Haram continues to unleash terror through its sporadic acts of violence in the region. From its kidnapping of over 200 girls in Chibok, (which brought about the #Bring Back Our Girls), to the bombing of stadiums, the group has proven relentless in its acts of terror against ordinary citizens.
In the Middle East, countries like Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq continue to reel from the effects of suicide bombers and indiscriminate acts of terror that have left countless dead, maimed or displaced. The persistent nature of these terror attacks has caused a humanitarian problem and prompted a refugee crisis in the region. In response to the years of unrest and chaos, an estimated 340 000 people have sought refuge in Europe, much to the dismay of the European Union (EU) that is divided on how to handle the influx of migrants at the doorsteps of its member states.
The attack in Paris proves that terrorism is a global problem that affects us all. Terrorism is not contained to one country or region, but rather, it threatens us all. Terrorism is a threat to global peace and security. It remains a threat to our humanity, our existence, our sense of identity and everything we hold dear. It is a common evil that is perceived the same way, despite race, creed, religion, ethnicity or language. Terrorism is a cancer that should be dealt with decisively. World leaders need to draw up a plan of action to tackle terrorism; wherever it rears up its ugly head, be it in Europe, Africa or the Middle East. The response to terrorist acts should be concerted, decisive and unwavering in order to send a strong and clear message to the perpetrators.
Long live France, Long live the world!