The lesson from Angola

THE instinct from many of us has rightfully been to be indignant over claims, mainly in Europe, that the cowardly attack on Togolese football players by Cabinda secessionists might impact on the safety of the World Cup in South Africa.

THE instinct from many of us has rightfully been to be indignant over claims, mainly in Europe, that the cowardly attack on Togolese football players by Cabinda secessionists might impact on the safety of the World Cup in South Africa.

It is patently nonsensical to think that something that happens in a country so distant could have a bearing on us, when we do not even have a grouping that has similarconcerns.

But having said that, Local Organising Committee chairperson Irvin Khoza makes a valid point when he says we should learn from the Angolan experience. Khoza's sober caution should not be read to mean that we buy into the unschooled and possibly bigoted view about Africa being one village and therefore what is happening in one part of it having a direct impact at the other end.

The fact is terrorism is a reality of modern times. There are always fringe groups with one cause or another who revel in using big events such as the World Cup or the Olympics to announce their arrival. Terrorism has also gone global, with targets and victims of such barbarity known to have no obvious link to those the terror merchants allege are their intended victims. The scores of innocent Kenyans and Tanzanians who were caught in the crossfire between what al-Qaeda said was an attack on US imperialism bears testimony to these unfortunate times.

Indignation, however righteous, will therefore not help if it is not coupled with vigilance. We should, as Khoza counsels, learn from Angola.

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