Last week’s military coup in Niger could be a game-changer in the New Cold War if the junta cuts off the uranium exports upon which France’s nuclear energy industry depends, kicks out its former colonizer’s troops from their last regional bastion, and/or requests Russia’s “Democratic Security” assistance. Unlike the patriotic military coups in Guinea, Mali, and Burkina Faso, which were condemned by the West but not considered a threat to its neocolonial stranglehold over Africa, the one in Niger is ringing alarm bells. France and the US strongly condemned this latest regime change, with the first suspending all aid in parallel with the EU while the latter is preparing to follow suit.
The second Russia-Africa Summit For Peace, Security, and Development concluded in the Russian city of St. Petersburg on July 28. The two-day meet was attended by official delegations from 49 African countries and included 17 heads of state. The summit yielded various agreements and a joint declaration for cooperation on issues including security, trade, energy, and climate change. “All our states confirmed their commitment to the formation of a fair and democratic multipolar world order based on the universally recognized principles of international law and the UN Charter,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a press statement after the conclusion of the summit.
Earlier this week, South African leader Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that Moscow and Kiev had agreed to receive a mission of African leaders with their peace initiative on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov later confirmed that the African mission was planning to visit Russia in mid-June or early July. The mission of African countries to Russia and Ukraine to end the ongoing conflict between the two neighbors is “very encouraging and unexpected,” given that African nations have not previously directly addressed conflicts outside the continent, Natalia Piskunova, an Associate Professor of African Studies and Political Science at Lomonosov Moscow State University, told Sputnik on Friday.
In the closing statement of the 36th ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the regional bloc confirmed its “complete support” for the State of Palestine. The AU condemned ongoing Israeli crimes against Palestinians, including forced evictions, extrajudicial detentions, illegal settlement expansion, and apartheid. This statement came just one day after an Israeli delegation was unceremoniously booted from the summit’s opening ceremony. On Sunday, AU commission chief Moussa Faki Mahamat confirmed that Israel’s observer status has been suspended since last year and that no Israeli officials were invited to the summit this year.
Western governments have tried to rally the nations of Africa to join their war on Russia. But the vast majority of the continent has ignored their pressure campaign. For months, Ukraine attempted to organize a video conference between the African Union and Western-backed leader Volodymyr Zelensky. France and Germany put heavy pressure on African governments to attend the Zoom call, which was held on June 20. The conference ended up being a total failure, however. The heads of state of just four of the 55 members of the African Union joined the meeting. In other words, 93% of the leaders of the African continent did not attend the video conference with Zelensky. This was a clear sign of Africa’s overwhelming neutrality in the proxy war between the West and Russia.
In at least two regions of the African continent food deficits are a major concern for political officials and humanitarian organizations. The Russian special military operations in neighboring Ukraine have brought to the surface a number of persistent economic problems which have plagued the world since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that emerged during the early months of 2020. President Macky Sall of the West African state of Senegal, the current elected chairman of the 55 member-states African Union (AU) along with AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat, visited the Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss measures which could alleviate the escalating problems related to the lack of food and agricultural inputs.