From Abidjan in Ivory Coast to Dakar in Senegal and Cairo in Egypt, floods of reactions were pouring in on Monday evening from across Africa, after fire engulfed the historic 12th century Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.
African leaders who reacted in statements and tweets expressed sadness and shock, especially because many of them had visited the over 800-year old monument.
Reacting on Twitter, Senegalese President Macky Sall expressed solidarity with France and Christians around the world.
He described Notre Dame as one of the greatest symbols of France.
French President Emmanuel Macron of France promised to rebuild Notre Dame after fire engulfed it, damaging it substantially but not completely thanks to the prompt intervention of fire fighters.
Notre Dame was “saved and preserved”, fire fighters said late on Monday in a tweet, although by that time, the most visited monument in Europe had been badly damaged.
President of Ivory Coast Alassane Ouattara expressed solidarity with France and Christians around the world, describing the fire incident as Notre Dame as “terrible”.
The President of Burkina Faso Roch Marc Christian Kaboré in a tweet also sent words of sadness to the France.
It was the same reaction of sadness and solidarity from Andry Rajoelina, head of state of Madagascar.
Even Ivory Coast former National Assembly President Guillaume Soro expressed “deep sadness”.
In Cairo, the Foreign Affairs Ministry expressed sadness and regrets over Notre-Dame Cathedral fire incident.
Elsewhere in the world, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary General said he was horrified by images from Paris.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari also condoled with President Emmanuel Macron of France and all citizens over the tragic fire incident that gutted parts of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
The Nigerian leader extended his sympathy to Christians in Nigeria and all over the world following the partial destruction of the historical Cathedral, which houses deferent valuable items held dear by worshipers.
President Buhari and Nigerians joined the world in shock and disbelief as the highly revered and historical church building went up in flames on Monday, praying that the almighty God will provide resources and capacity for full restoration.
As one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, a central place of worship for Christians and symbol of France, the President urged joint faith in prayers for the country and its citizens.
Even Michelle Obama, the former First Lady in the United States expressed shock and sadness.
“The majesty of Notre Dame—the history, artistry, and spirituality—took our breath away, lifting us to a higher understanding of who we are and who we can be. Being here in Paris tonight, my heart aches with the people of France. Yet I know that Notre Dame will soon awe us again,” she tweeted.
Former President Barack Obama echoed the same emotions of sadness.