Newspaper readers in Cameroon waited in vain for copies of the first edition of Charlie Hebdo printed after the murder by radical Islamists of 12 of its staff in Paris.
The first issue of Charlie Hebdo to be published since last week’s deadly Islamist attack on the satirical magazine was sold out across France early on Wednesday (14.01.2015.) There was also great interest in the ‘Survivors’ Edition’ in Africa. In Cameroon, demand was high but casual readers without subscriptions left newspaper stores disappointed.
Kellie Amanda is a newspaper vendor in the Cameroonian capital Yaounde. She said she had not been able to fulfil the demands of the many people asking for copies of Wednesday’s edition of Charlie Hebdo. Among those hoping to get a copy was veterinary doctor Carole Dudou.
“I have been here since morning waiting for the magazine Charlie Hebdo because they promised to send copies here,” she told DW’s correspondent, adding, “I will continue waiting because I really want to read the magazine. I have also subscribed to have it regularly.”
Insurance broker Gilbert Zua Kob has not read the magazine before but was keen to find out what kind of publication it is. “I am just curious. People were not buying Charlie Hebdo in Cameroon but what befell the newspaper has made us curious to read it,” he said.
Paris-based Cameroonian designer Suzan Koue was in her home country the day the latest edition was published. She obtained a copy sent by fax by her sister in France, but then her mother took it to her office to share with colleagues. Koue said she was happy with the magazine’s cover which shows a tearful Prophet Muhammad holding a sign saying “Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) and the words “all is forgiven.”
For Koue, there is nothing wrong with printing caricatures, even if they target Islam or the Prophet Muhammad. “These are trival religious issues, even a caricature of the pope is very normal,” she said. “But the entire world is dramatizing the incident [in Paris]. Our brothers here in Cameroon are being killed on a daily basis by Boko Haram, yet the world is not mobilizing as it did in Paris. We feel the same pain as they do.”
‘New sense of awareness’
Marie Louise Ngwa Cheka, an official with Cameroon’s state radio, said many Cameroonians expected the magazine to trigger nbspa new sense of awareness that the terrorism inflicted on them by Nigerian militant group Boko Haram is a global threat and needs a global response to combat it.
“There is some kind of reawakening now in the world. It is as if world leaders realized that there was some error in the way they handled 911. So this time people want to make the world understand that terrorism is happening everywhere. So it is not just so much Charlie Hebdo but the whole idea of fighting this thing that seems to be overcoming the world,” Cheka said.
She believes that African countries may now feel more motivated to “stand up now to attack or solve this issue that has been on our neck for so long.”
Source : Deutsche Welle