Nice Attack: world politicians use Twitter to condemn Bastille Day attack


In the late hours of 14 July 2016, during France’s Bastille Day celebrations, a gunman drove a truck through a crowd of people in Nice, southern France, killing at least 84 people. It’s France’s second major terror attack in less than a year, after last November’s attacks in Paris.

According to reports, the driver of the truck ploughed through the crowd for at least two kilometres before police shot the attacker dead.

After the incident, #PrayForNice and #NiceAttack became Twitter’s top trends worldwide, with #NousSommesUnis (“we are united”) taking off in France in the past hour.

But while Twitter users across the world are condemning the attacks and tweeting messages of support to the victims, world leaders have also taken to the social network to voice their opinions, issue their statements and sympathise with the affected.

France’s politicians led world leaders in tweets. Nice’s current Mayor Phillipe Pradal’s Twitter timeline transformed into an emergency news desk. His tweet below was published about two hours after the attack. He later tweeted that this is the “biggest tragedy in the history of Nice”, and issued his condolences to the families affected.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s Twitter timeline of Bastille Day joy turned to “deep emotion and infinite sadness at the attack”.

Current president of France Francois Hollande tweeted that “France is weeping, grieved, but it is strong and will always be”, More of Hollande’s and the French’s heads of state remarks can be found on the Élysée’s official Twitter account.

Paris’s Mayor Anne Hidalgo also issued a statement of solidarity. “On behalf of the Parisians, all our most fraternal support to the people of Nice. Our cities are united,” her tweet reads.

The former Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi asked Niçois citizens to stay at home after the attacks. “More info will come,” he added.

Russia’s prime minister Dimitri Medvedev first took to Facebook to issue his “deepest condolences to France, those who suffered in this heinous act of terror”. He also tweeted: “Europe and Asia must unite against terrorism.”

US Democratic Party presumptive nominee Hilary Clinton stepped off the campaign trail for a moment, issuing an embedded statement. “Every American stands in strong solidarity with the people of France,” it reads.

Republican Party presumptive nominee Donald Trump also issued a number of tweets condemning the attack, suggesting that “it is only getting worse”. He also announced that in light of the attack, he has “postponed” his vice Presidential candidate announcement.

The UK’s newly-appointed secretary of foreign affairs Boris Johnson also issued a statement, describing the attack as a “terrible loss of life”.

Former first lady of Mexico Margarita Zavala also tweeted: “I regret and condemn acts of hatred, violence and terrorism. My solidarity with the French people.” Her husband, former president of Mexico Felipe Calderon, retweeted her message.

London’s current Mayor Sadiq Khan was “devastated by this unspeakable attack on Nice”, he tweeted, pledging London’s solidarity with the victims.

Spain’s acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey, at a press conference, observed a minute’s silence earlier today. He also tweeted: “Shocked by the news coming from Nice and I’m still concerned. My condolences for the victims to all the French people.”

Latvian politician (and current EU commissioner for the Euro and Social Dialogue) Valdis Dombrovskis was “upset” by the attack on Nice. “My thoughts relatives of the victims. Solidarity with the French people,” he added, alongside the picture of the French flag.

Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Løkke Rasmussen called the attack on Nice “an attack on us all”.

The White House also issued a statement by President Barack Obama on Twitter. “I condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be an horrific terror attack in Nice, France,” reads a snippet of the release. Obama however did not tweet using his POTUS or official personal accounts.

Canadian President Stephen Harper issued a statement in French: “The people of France are in our thoughts this evening, following the terrorist attack. I pray for the victims and their families.”

Andy Walker, former editor


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