Pick a side and join the anti-Russia camp? Scholar: Africa is not a pawn

Refugees from many diffrent countries - from Africa, Middle East and India - mostly students of Ukrainian universities are seen at the Medyka pedestrian border crossing fleeing the conflict in Ukraine, in eastern Poland on February 27, 2022. - As Ukraine braces for a feared Russian invasion, its EU member neighbours are making preparations for a possible influx of hundreds of thousands or even millions of refugees fleeing military action. (Photo by Wojtek RADWANSKI / AFP)
Refugees from many different countries – from Africa, the Middle East and India – mostly students of Ukrainian universities are seen at the Medyka pedestrian border crossing fleeing the conflict in Ukraine, in eastern Poland on February 27, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

Since the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out, western media have been demanding in their reports that “Africa should be silent no more.”

This condescending attitude has aroused concern and criticism. Recently, politicians in Africa have expressed their views on the situation between Russia and Ukraine.

A number of heads of state expressed their support for Russia and Ukraine to maintain the momentum of peace talks and resolve disputes through dialogue and negotiation.

Western media criticizes Africa’s “silence”, though netizens disagree.

On March 19, the African office of the Associated Press posted on their social media account that “amid a worldwide chorus of condemnation against Russia’s war on Ukraine, Africa has remained mostly quiet – a reminder of the Kremlin’s considerable influence over the continent of 1.3 billion people.”

The article was much discussed on the social network after it was published. Some netizens bluntly criticized it as “western hypocrisy”.

Other netizens posted about the United States Africa Command’s military deployment in Africa and said the US has set up a number of military bases in Africa with huge numbers of military personnel stationed on the continent.

South African President: Russia-Ukraine conflict rooted in NATO’s eastward expansion

On March 17 local time, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the root cause of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine lies in NATO’s eastward expansion over the years.

He said the conflict could have been avoided if NATO had heeded the warnings on its consequences.

Despite attempts to turn South Africa against Russia, said Ramaphosa, South Africa will not take adversarial stances or actions towards Russia and hopes the two sides will resolve the current dispute through dialogue and negotiation.

He also said war and violence will never truly solve issues, and South Africa would insist on the approach of mediation, dialogue, and negotiations.

Ugandan President: Treatment to Russia-Ukrainian issue exposes western double standards

Recently, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said in an interview that he sees “double standards” in the western response on the Ukraine issue and the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.

He added that China’s approach of non-interference in other countries internal affairs was “much better”.

African countries call for dialogue regarding the Russia-Ukraine situation.

In the past few days, a number of African countries have stated their positions on the current situation in Ukraine.

Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement pointing out that the situation in Ukraine is very complex, and the international community has the responsibility to prevent the situation from further complications while working on a solution to the crisis through dialogue.

It also said that Zimbabwe does not support the imposition of unilateral coercive measures or any form of unilateral sanctions on any country over the Ukraine crisis, as this violates the UN Charter.

It added that unilateral sanctions never lead to any result other than humanitarian crises and suffering of ordinary people.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said that Egypt supports all diplomatic means to resolve the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and Egypt hopes that the two sides will resolve the issue through political means as soon as possible to avoid further deterioration of the situation.

Kenyan scholar: Africa will not be a pawn for the US in the Russia-Ukraine crisis

In response to the recent bickering from western media, Stephen Ndegwa, an African public policy expert at the Kenya-based United States International University-Africa, said that the United States and other Western countries have long treated other countries, especially Africa, in an unfair way.

They still see Africa in a condescending attitude because Africa is their so-called “black continent”.

Ramaphosa’s brave statement came after his phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and it is inspiring. As Ramaphosa put it, Russia’s grievances with NATO’s eastward expansion have fallen on deaf ears, the crisis has been intensifying over the years and it’s obvious who is really anxious.

He also said that Africa has matured and is unwilling to be used as a rubber stamp to undermine or confront other countries, and Africa has learned its lessons for decades as it has gone through a divide that has hindered its development and unity.