Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February and the subsequent war there, African countries have, largely, refused to take sides. Now, Ukraine is seeking their support.
What’s Ukraine asking for?
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked to speak to the African Union, obviously to seek their support against Russia. This was made known by his Senegalese counterpart, Macky Sall. Sall, the AU Chairperson, stated this in a tweet after a call with Zelensky on Monday.
Why are African countries not taking sides?
A policy of “non-alignment” has been an integral part of the foreign policy stance of most African countries since post second world war era. In other words, they usually do not take sides in conflict between the global East and West. Besides, Moscow has had a longstanding relation with the continent since the Cold War.
Africa’s non-alignment stance was reinforced recently when the United Nations General Assembly suspended Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. While 9 of the countries that voted against the resolution were African, another 23 [African countries] abstained from voting – more than half of the continent.