Why African countries did not interfere

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An associate lecturer at England University of New York, Remi Adekoya, has provided an insight to why most African countries have preferred to keep mute in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

According to him, many of these countries across Africa appear hesitant to risk their own security, foreign investment and trade by backing one side in this conflict.

Countries such as Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya have evacuated thousands of their citizens who fled the warzone but has been much more muted in terms of to the war.

Nigeria had only summoned the Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria, Kirdoda Valerii and his Russian counterpart, Alexei Shebarshin, over the need to evacuate Nigerians living there.

Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, 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.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa had last week made it clear that he will not make an enemy out of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, saying instead that his country would only pursue dialogue between the two warring nations.

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