Many African countries are seeking to remain neutral in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, in order to give diplomacy a chance and focus on their own economic and political future in a rapidly changing world, leaders from the continent said at a meeting. a conference in the United Arab Emirates. Emirates on Wednesday.
The United States and its allies have pressured other states to join their sanctions campaign against Russia, after arguing – regarding Ukraine – that sovereign nations have the right to freely choose their alliances, without being “intimidated” by others.
“We abstained because we want the world to give diplomacy a chance,” said Tanzanian Vice President Philip Mpango at the World Government Summit in Dubai, according to The National, an Abu Dhabi daily.
Mpango was referring to his government’s vote at the United Nations General Assembly on March 2. The non-binding resolution calling on Russia to withdraw from Ukraine was approved by 141 UN members, with five votes against and 35 abstentions – including 17 African countries.
Mpango said the African continent is going through a “memorable moment” and see “a transformation of trade routes from established colonial routes to Africa doing more business with the eastern world.” This is an opportunity for the continent to move forward, diversifying its culture and using technology to better interact with the world, he added.
“We are witnessing the shifting of tectonic plates, especially with the rise of China and India on the world economic scene”, says Mpango.
The changing global situation is an opportunity for African nations to forge a new path, said Mohamed Beavogui, Prime Minister of Guinea.
“We are at a crucial turning point as the world is in crisis”, noted “For years people said they don’t worry about war ‘it’s only in Africa’. Now it’s in the middle of Europe and we’re suddenly being asked to choose,” he said in Dubai. “We want to see if it’s possible to get people around a table to talk to each other.”
Africa has its own problems that need government attention, Ugandan Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja has said.
“We have more problems and abstaining is the way of diplomacy”, she says.
I joined a panel on “The Rise of Africa: Dynamics and Strategies” @WorldGovSummit in Dubai where I highlighted investment opportunities, a growing population, a skilled workforce and the need to access markets for our products. Africa’s future is bright @OPMUganda@UgandaMFApic.twitter.com/MfJxRcVkzR
-Rt. Hon. Nabbanja Robinah. PRIME MINISTER (@RobinahNabbanja) March 30, 2022
Earlier this week, Ugandan troops clashed with Rwandan-backed M23 rebels who crossed into eastern Congo. As Congolese troops and rebels fought, a UN peacekeeping mission helicopter crashed in the area, killing all eight officers on board.
This does not mean that the conflict between Moscow and kyiv does not affect the continent. Much of Africa imports grain from Russia and Ukraine, but the trade has been disrupted due to military operations as well as Western sanctions.
“We have already seen rapid increases in food prices, we are also seeing rising fertilizer prices and rising steel prices,” he added. says Mpango.
Moscow sent troops to Ukraine in late February, after a seven-year standoff over kyiv’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and end the conflict with the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk. Russia eventually recognized the two independent states, at which point they requested military aid.
Russia demands that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied claims it planned to retake the two Donbas republics by force.
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