When the United Nations voted to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, only a small number of countries allied with Moscow came forward to support Vladimir Putin’s gratuitous attack.
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North Korea, Belarus, Syria and Eritrea voted against a resolution calling on Moscow to “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all military forces from Ukrainian territory within internationally recognized borders.” . But another 35 countries “refuse to condemn Russia’s imperial ambitions in Ukraine”, including 17 African countries, walkie talkie reported. Seven other African countries “refuse to vote”.
The newspaper’s Africa correspondent Will Brown said Western diplomats were “silently angry” about African governments’ decision not to support the anti-Russian stance. And the voting results also raise the question “why so many African countries quietly sided with Putin”.
According to The Telegraph’s Brown, the continent’s 54 countries “know more about the horrors and long-term effects of colonial paralysis”. So “anyone unfamiliar with African geopolitics would be forgiven for wondering why” 17 of them refused to condemn the Russian invasion.
The continent has taken a different and sometimes inconsistent stance on Western support for the government in Kyiv. The African Union and the Economic Community of West African States both issued statements condemning the invasion. So are Kenya, Gabon and Ghana, Africa’s three representatives on the United Nations Security Council.
But South Africa, “a country that has proudly stood up for the oppressed world since the fall of apartheid,” refused to condemn the violence, Brown continued. The Central African Republic, a country “ravaged by ice wars for decades”, also abstained in the UN vote.
According to Ebenezer Obadare, a senior fellow for Africa research at Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), “African countries’ reticence in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine can be explored through Russia’s growing relationship with African leaders.”
“Russian flirting with African leaders has quietly increased over the past few years,” said Obadare. While “China’s economic and diplomatic presence in Africa has attracted the most attention”, Russia has “provided extensive military and intelligence support”.
Moscow also “seems to have exploited” a transcendent anti-Western line in Africa and elsewhere that preceded the Ukraine conflict,” he continued.
Seen from Africa’s capitals, Putin’s “violation of diplomatic norms” by invading Ukraine “merely widens the historical pattern by which powerful Western powers – especially the United States – – has arbitrarily violated international law”.
Musa Balarabe Musa, a population and development expert at Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria, said that “when it comes to Africa, no country is directly involved politically, economically or militarily” at the time. Ukraine conflict.
Write to Center for Strategic and International Studieshe argued that the war was framed through questions like “What role can Nato play in the crisis? ” and “Is the United States capable of deterring the nuclear threat?”
Thus, for African leaders, there is little incentive to become heavily involved, “especially with the rise of armed conflict and severe economic crises in the region.” area”.
This stance would be in keeping with the African view of the 20th century. Brown of The Telegraph said: “During the Cold War, Moscow supported many liberation movements across Africa. “Some old elites” across the continent “even studied in Moscow and still speak Russian fluently.”
The UN’s abstention “underscores the diplomatic importance that Moscow remains for more authoritarian governments in Africa”, as well as the influence of “Russia’s huge military footprint on the continent” this land”.
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While many African governments are making clear directions for any involvement in the Ukraine conflict, their attitudes have “generated fierce criticism” across their continent, especially from “intellectuals, diplomats and opposition politicians in South Africa”, Deutsche Welle reported.
Herman Mashaba of the newly formed opposition ActionSA party said: “The refusal to condemn this war has put South Africa on the wrong side of history. He described the invasion as “violate the principles of international law“.
Nigeria, Africa’s “other economic giant”, has also “condemned Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and said that ready to sanction the country‘, reported the Telegraph’s Brown. The government in Abuja is “most likely frustrated by Russia’s efforts to gain influence in West Africa”, which it “considers its legitimate sphere of influence”.
In recent years, “African governments have increasingly shown an interest in building relationships with both the West and the East to diversify trade, investment, and aid options.” Danielle Resnick, a member of Washington DC, said Brookings Institution.
But while there is “only minimal interest in going back to an era when African leaders needed to demonstrate allegiance to a great power during the Cold War”, the conflict raises questions about ” How will African governments maintain their relationships with multiple external partners – and with one another – as the geopolitical landscape changes dramatically”.
“The West cannot underestimate Africa’s support, and the Kremlin” will continue to manipulate existing networks to open and exploit rifts in African support,” said CFR’s Obadare. .
To all the fury of Western diplomats, “African nations have shown once again that the West should never take them for granted,” added The Telegraph’s Brown. “As in the north, the leaders of the global south can and will act to their own geopolitical advantage.”
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/world-news/africa/956101/why-african-countries-standing-by-vladimir-putin Why African countries sided with Vladimir Putin