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Cover Story North Africa


At the heart of the revolution in North Africa has been the undeniable role played by the social networking sites – Facebook, Twitter and blogs. New African went on a cyber-search to find out how Africans south of the Sahara were reacting to the events in the North through the social media. Compiled by Regina Jane Jere.


Africa reacts


person has the right to say what he wants and to vote. It is im- possible. I repeat: it is impossible.”


President Jacob Zuma in an interview with the German newspaper, Beeld


 “What lessons are there to be learnt from the revolt in Egypt? What happened is a lesson to the West, especially


the United States. It also sounds a clear but unequivocal warning to sit-tight African leaders that their days are numbered. For the West, it is a lesson that they have to grind their teeth


because the Egyptian revolution has thrown them into a di- lemma created by their own logic. When you implicitly support autocratic governments for the clear reason of protecting your interest to the detriment of the people, then what you gain is the Egyptian revolution. As for the sit-tight African leaders, although it is not clear


whether their people have the orientation and consciousness dis- played by the Egyptians, the truth is that it is unpredictable [as to] when a revolution might blow them away. But if the Northern African people can stage such protests to oust their presidents, then it can happen in the South, too. Tere is certainly a limit to how long the people can be op-


pressed. Te events in Egypt and Tunisia therefore serve as a serious warning to the sit-tight leaders in Africa.”


Abiodun Fatai, lecturer in political science, Lagos State University, Ibadan, Nigeria


 “Te presidency of the republic congratulates the broth-


Egypt and other Arab countries that will follow suit will succeed because they have one major ethnic language, one religion and a similar mindset. Nigerian politicians know this, hence they are not perturbed by the crisis. Te only option that can work very well for Nigeria is the Sudanese option – a referendum.” Name withheld


 “Based on our cultural and religious differences, Nigeria is one place where such revolution will not succeed! Tunisia,  “Egypt is just as ‘corrupt’ as Nigeria, if not more. Te people there just have more, binding them together in


terms of ethnicity, language and religion, and so they can unify for this sort of action with less stress and mutual suspicion than in Nigeria. Also, the idea that it is ‘impossible’ in Nigeria is wildly presumptuous. Most Egyptians who lived under Mu- barak’s iron fist for the last 30 years also believed this sort of mass revolt was ‘impossible’ in that country.”


Name withheld


the triumph of their revolution. Te presidency affirms its un- qualified support and stands firmly by the Egyptian people in realising their aspirations and enhancing Egypt’s position and recovering its role as a pioneering Arab, African and Islamic country. Sudan welcomes and respects the choice and the will of the Egyptian people to achieve their legitimate aspirations of dignity and freedom, stability and peace.”


The Government of Sudan in a statement released in Khartoum


18 | March 2011 New African erly people of Egypt on realising their wishes, and on  “Tere will be no Egyptian-like revolution here. Tere is nobody who can use extra-constitutional means to take


power here. Tat is out of question. We would just lock them up. In the most humane manner possible. Bang them into jails and that would be the end of the story.” Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni


 “You can fool some of the people some of the time, or all


the people all of the time. Other leaders in Africa are warned. Te revolution will continue.”


Name withheld of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of  “I can tell you that there will never be a Tunisia in South Africa. We have a constitutional democracy here; every


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