In Russia-Ukraine conflict, Africa should remain neutral

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Dr Mustafa Bothwell Mheta

Safar 27, 1444 2022-09-23

Daily News Analysis

by Dr Mustafa Bothwell Mheta

The September 20 call by the African Union (AU) chairperson Macky Sall that Africa “does not want to be the breeding ground of a new Cold War,” is the most sensible approach to take.

He was alluding to the pressure mounting on the continent’s leaders to choose sides over the war in Ukraine.

President Sall’s clear stand on the issue and his leadership of the AU is commendable.

Africa must not be bulldozed by powerful western countries into taking sides without analyzing the consequences and weighing its own interests first.

Africa must avoid falling into the same pit as that which happened before and led to the destruction of Libya and Operation Desert Storm against Iraq.

The world was fooled into believing the lies manufactured by the western powers about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

None existed yet the country was destroyed from which it has still not recovered.

Many African countries depend heavily on grain imports from Russia and Ukraine.

Amid market shortages, Russia’s foreign minister has portrayed the west as the villain, blaming it for rising food prices.

Western rulers, meanwhile, have accused the Kremlin of cynically using food as a weapon and waging an imperial-style war of conquest.

This allegation is not borne out by fact.

Through a Turkish-brokered arrangement, Russia has allowed its grain and that of Ukraine to pass through the Black Sea.

Western regimes have deliberately held back grain from Africa while blaming Russia for the shortages.

So far, Africa has stayed somewhat neutral on Ukraine.

Some 25 countries either voted to abstain or did not vote at all on the UN resolution that condemned the war in Ukraine earlier this year.

“I have come to say that Africa has suffered enough of the burden of history; that it does not want to be the breeding ground of a new Cold War, but rather a pole of stability and opportunity open to all its partners, on a mutually beneficial basis,” President Sall of Senegal told the General Assembly on September 20.

Some observers have called efforts by Russia and the US the strongest lobbying campaigns since the Cold War.

At that time, the continent was wracked by proxy wars as the US and Soviet Union vied for influence.

French President Emanuel Macron used his speech at the General Assembly on September 20 to press countries not to stay neutral in condemning Russia’s war in Ukraine.

He declared that Moscow’s invasion amounts to a new form of imperialism.

Africa must reject Macron’s call who presides over the most parasitical country in Europe that depends on Africa for survival.

France milks Africa of billions of dollars and has no business lecturing its leaders on who they should and should not befriend.

Africa will choose its own friends. It is not a colony of France, or the rapacious imperialist west.

Instead, Africa must examine its friendship with blood sucking countries like France.

The western regimes’ so-called friendship has not brought any benefit to Africa or its people.

The Soviet Union backed many African movements fighting to end colonial rule.

Russia’s foreign minister has voiced support for reform of the UN Security Council to give African countries permanent seats and greater influence.

It was the USSR that assisted African liberation movements to gain freedom from the yoke and bondage of western colonialism and racism.

Among those staying neutral is continental heavyweight South Africa.

International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor has said that finding an endgame to the Ukraine war will be South Africa’s focus at of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

South Africa must be commended for taking this principled stand and showing leadership on the continent.

Minister Pandor in particular has taken the most principled stand not to side with oppression which is being perpetrated by the arrogant powers and zionist-apartheid Israel in occupied Palestine. Aluta Continua!

Dr. Mustafa Mheta is Senior researcher/Head of Africa Desk, Media Review Network South Africa Dean: School of Languages at Somali, National University (SNU) Mogadishu

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