Remi Adekoya, an associate lecturer at England University of New York, has explained why most African countries have remained silent in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
According to him, many of these African countries look unwilling to jeopardize their own security, foreign investment, and commerce by siding with one side in this crisis.
Countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya have evacuated hundreds of their nationals who have escaped the warzone, but their response to the war has been far more subdued.
Nigeria had simply invited the Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria, Kirdoda Valerii, and his Russian counterpart, Alexei Shebarshin, to discuss the evacuation of Nigerians living there.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, met with the envoys separately behind closed doors in Abuja, telling the Russian diplomat that Nigeria as a country wouldn’t condone the violation of the territorial integrity of a United Nations member state, a country with which Nigeria has diplomatic relations.
He also said that he told Shebarshin that Nigeria wanted Russia to revert to the status quo before the military action and to prioritize diplomacy and dialogue.
And Mr. Adekoya told the CNN that countries in Africa find themselves in a delicate position and will not want to get drawn into proxy battles.
“There’s a strong strand of thought in African diplomacy that says African states should maintain the principle of non-interference and so they shouldn’t get caught up in proxy wars between the East and the West.
“As some states did get caught up in proxy wars during the Cold War, for instance,” Adekoya said.
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