Page 3 of 3
As much as the West tries to implement the idea of “African solutions to African problems,” it still finds itself leading in the solutions, often with the assistance of the UN or private international groups. A good example was the French invasion of northern Mali in January to roll back a threat by Al Qaeda. Now the French want out, but their withdrawal depends on whether troops from nearby African countries can be trained and financed to take over the mission. The French people supported the invasion but don’t seem willing to support an extended stay.
An uprising last December by rebel groups in the Central African Republic has received very little world attention and yet the spillover of refugees into neighboring countries could lead to regional instability or humanitarian worries about their condition. If the Western leaders are inclined to intervene, will their people even know where the CAR is?
This disconnect between the world’s awareness of Africa and the need to respond to Africa’s problems needs attention itself. Western leaders, such as President Obama, must travel to the continent more often. News coverage must increase. African leaders need to engage the outside world more. Perhaps then news of a sensational killing in Africa won’t receive more attention than it should.