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Putin in pursuit of Africa labelled ‘opportunistic’ and ‘calculating’

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Africa, October 28, 2022 – Vladimir Putin, president of Russia says he is seeking closer ties with African countries according to Russian state controlled media and the push seems to be working.

TASS says, in a recent meeting with Umaro Sissoco Embalo, Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Putin described the trade volume between ECOWAS and Russia as “rather hefty” citing the regions 400 million inhabitants.

The renewed and ‘up-scaled’ interest in Africa comes as the Kremlin is frozen out of Western relations because of the Ukraine invasion.  Russia now has significant animosity against Britain, the EU and the United States which is certainly mutual.

“We hope that a significant contribution will be made to the development of relations—with members of the organization, and the entire African continent in general during your presidency in ECOWAS,” Putin told Embalo.

Earlier this year several African countries remained neutral to the war in Ukraine.  In the UN General Assembly’s vote to suspend Russia’s membership on the Human Rights Council of the 54 African states in the UN only 10 voted in favor of the resolution, nine openly opposed, and 35 abstained or refused to turn up.

Despite worldwide condemnation of the atrocities committed in Ukraine, Europe’s long and sordid history of African exploitation is now working to Putin’s advantage.  Many criticisms of African nations’ reluctance to comment on the invasion are met on social media by lashing criticisms on Europe’s own sins committed on the continent.  In addition Russia is still recognized in countries like South Africa for their help in overturning European regimes like apartheid.

Germany’s embassy to South Africa criticized Russia for thanking SA for remaining neutral back in March.

“Sorry, but we can’t stay silent on this one, it’s just far too cynical.  What Russia is doing in Ukraine is slaughtering innocent children, women and men for its own gain.  It’s definitely not “fighting Nazism”. Shame on anyone who’s falling for this…” the Embassy said.

Replies ranged from: “How far are you with paying reparations to Namibian people?” to “Why is the Federal Republic of Germany taking more action against the invasion of Ukraine then it did against the invasion of Iraq?”

And while President Joe Biden recently hosted South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in talks at the White House regarding his neutral stance on Russia and other issues, so far South Africa and the rest of the continent for the most part has stuck to its guns.

The issue is a polarizing one though, as at the same time thousands of citizens across Africa have openly disagreed with the neutral lot cast by their countries.

Also taken into account is the fact that the Russian war has pushed several African countries further into famine faster than expected thanks to the rising prices of staples like grain.

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies describes the Russian foray into the continent as:

“Expanding geo-political influence through low-cost ventures that hold economic windfalls for Moscow and President Vladimir Putin’s close associates. In this way, Russia’s strategy in Africa is both opportunistic and calculating.”

Whatever the motive, the strategy to ‘make nice’ with the continent seems to be progressing for Putin as his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov just finished a tour where he was welcomed into at least four nations to further diplomatic relations.

Africa

Kenya multinational force to arrive in February in Haiti 

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

#Kenya, December 21, 2023 – Saving Haiti from the current crisis is becoming less of just spoken word and more of real action as Kenya is scheduled to send more than one hundred soldiers to the republic come February 2024.

This is according to reports on Sunday by Kenyan authorities, following Haiti’s visit to Nairobi, Kenya on Wednesday December 13th.  The Haitian delegation was led by Mr. Frantz Elbé, Director General of the Police National D’Haiti (PNH) or Haitian National Police in English, and it included members of the High Command and Senior Officers from the Ministry of Justice.

Elbé, according to the PNH, met with the Director General of the Kenyan Police and his Deputy Inspector General in charge of the Administrative Police.

This meeting was to discuss technical details related to the deployment of the Multinational Support Mission to Security (MMAS).

Reports say that regarding the mission, Kenya is demanding the disbursement of a first portion of $230 million. Also, it is important that the potential cost of the mission is noted, that is USD$600 million, reports say.

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Africa

DRC to get Worse for Women and Children says UN report

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Africa, November 25, 2023 – As the country prepares for general elections in December women and children in the Democratic Republic of Congo are experiencing some of the worst human rights abuses in the world according to UN reports.

“The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is on track to have record levels of verified grave violations against children for a third consecutive year in 2023 – In both 2021 and 2022, DRC had the world’s highest levels of verified cases of sexual violence against children committed by armed forces and armed groups,” UNESCO explained. The 2023 levels of ‘grave abuses’ against children has risen 41 percent this year.

It’s years of armed conflict between over 100 different rebel groups both foreign and local that has precipitated the foreboding increase. The UN is describing the resulting humanitarian crises in DRC as an epidemic of gender based violence.

Armed groups have been struggling for control of the DRC ever since rebels ousted from Rwanda captured the capital of then Zaire and renamed it the DRC.

Increased tensions have followed the planned departure of UN peace keepers under the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

MONUSCO, established by the UN in 2010 had been authorized to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate to ‘protect of civilians, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders under imminent threat of physical violence and to support the Government of the DRC in its stabilization and peace consolidation efforts.’

It’s another UN intervention which has been labeled a failure.

More than five million people have been displaced because of the ongoing clashes.  The situation is expected to worsen in 2024.

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Africa

Congo human rights violations

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Dana Malcolm

 

Staff Writer

 

#Congo, November 22, 2023 – As the country prepares for general elections in December, women and children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are experiencing some of the worst human rights abuses in the world, according to UN reports.

 

“The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is on track to have record levels of verified grave violations against children for a third consecutive year in 2023 – In both 2021 and 2022, DRC had the world’s highest levels of verified cases of sexual violence against children committed by armed forces and armed groups,” UNESCO explained. The 2023 levels of ‘grave abuses’ against children have risen 41 percent this year.

 

It’s years of armed conflict between over 100 different rebel groups, both foreign and local, that have facilitated the increase. The UN is describing the resulting humanitarian crisis as an epidemic of gender-based violence.

 

Armed groups have been struggling for control of the DRC ever since rebels ousted from Rwanda captured the capital of then-Zaire and renamed it the DRC.

Increased tensions have followed the planned departure of UN peacekeepers under the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). 

 

MONUSCO, established by the UN in 2010, had been authorized to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate to ‘protect civilians, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders under imminent threat of physical violence and to support the Government of the DRC in its stabilization and peace consolidation efforts.’

 

More than five million people have been displaced from their homes because of the ongoing clashes   The situation is expected to worsen in 2024.

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