Somalia just endured one of the worst attacks in its history. But many people are asking where all the outrage is.
Twitter users clearly felt as though the world was ignoring the horrendous attack that left hundreds dead:
Imagine if 250+ ppl in the US or UK or France were killed in a truck bomb. That’s what just happened in Somalia. They deserve to be mourned.
— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) October 16, 2017
Found out 500 people have been killed in Somalia in a terrorist attack. Why isn’t this getting more attention? My love to those effected
— Daz Black (@daz_black) October 16, 2017
According to reports, more than 300 people have died and at least 400 people have been injured in Somalia. The attack took place on Saturday 14 October when two bombs exploded in the country’s capital city, Mogadishu. No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts yet; though they have signs of an al-Shabaab style attack, including the use of a truck bomb. The Guardian is now reporting, meanwhile, that the culprit may have been a “former soldier in Somalia’s army whose home town was raided by local troops and US special forces two months ago in a controversial operation in which 10 civilians were killed“.
When terrorists struck Somalia, the world was silent. No talk-show posturing. No wall-to-wall coverage.
This is shameful. We can do better. pic.twitter.com/Xw6iUxLQuz
— The Root (@TheRoot) October 16, 2017
It’s tragic that the terror attack in Somalia in which more than 300 people lost their lives has received little to no attention from the mainstream media. #IStandWithSomalia
— Simar (@sahluwal) October 17, 2017
Even MPs made the same point:
In Foreign Office Qs Henry Bellingham points out, rightly, how little air time is being given to the Somalia bomb- the worst ever in Africa.
— Zac Goldsmith (@ZacGoldsmith) October 17, 2017
And many felt that the response would have been very different if the attack was on Western soil. For instance, a shooting that took place in Las Vegas on 1 October saw the hashtag #PrayforVegas trending on Twitter:
Somalia. 276 died. We aren't doing the same thing we did when it was Las Vegas. https://t.co/6A79qe4uvR
— 🌀Analu🌀Welch🌀 (@AnaluWelch) October 16, 2017
The # of people killed in Somalia yesterday was 12x more than the # killed in Manchester in May (276 to 22) But it got 120x lesser coverage
— Milista of Informashun (@EkeVanVictor) October 16, 2017
Imagine a time when 230 people could be blown up in Somalia but all the news would talk about was how the sky was a bit yellow
— Brendan Walsh (@BWalsh__) October 17, 2017
Not everyone was quiet, though. Paris’s Eiffel Tower, for example, did mourn the deaths in Somalia. And some felt this was important:
Thank you Paris for dimming Eiffel Tower lights in solidarity with hundreds killed in Somalia, while most of the world turned a blind eye 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/2HaBQP214R
— Ulrich Janse van Vuuren (@UlrichJvV) October 16, 2017
If they didn't pay tribute to the bombing in Somalia, we would have cited the double standard. Important to see and note effort. https://t.co/8KUbpnHzmY
— hend amry (@LibyaLiberty) October 17, 2017
The root of terror
The terrorist network emerged in the 2000s. While US-backed warlords reportedly used to govern Somalia, a group of militias joined forces to take over the capital and other parts of the country. And the US soon started a proxy war to drive them out. They eventually turned into al-Shabaab, which put itself at the front of the fight against ‘foreign occupation’.
What has followed is starvation and disease, as well as terrorism. And Thomas Mountain, an independent journalist working in the region, has spoken about how Somalis have helped themselves better than the international community has helped them.
It now seems to some as though the world is leaving Somalia hanging again after this latest atrocity.
The media coverage doesn’t seem to be cutting it when it comes to terrorism outside the Western world. Attacks on African soil still need and deserve the commentary, analysis and solidarity that occurs after other attacks. This is not least because Western intervention seems too often to be so closely linked to the root of terror.
It’s time we shift the balance of coverage and stand with absolutely everyone who suffers at the hands of terrorism.
– Post your support for Somalia on social media using the hashtags #IamSomalia and #IamMogadishu.
Featured image via Twitter screenshot
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?