Following visit by U.S secretary of state Anthony Blinken, South Africa has publicly pushed back at attempts of the US to cut ties with Russia, with its Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor stating in the presence of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that her country won’t be pushed around and many in Africa had more faith in ties with BRICS countries than the West.
“The US Secretary is here for what? Why did he not follow Pelosi to Taiwan? We are part of BRICS and we will buy Russian oil… South Africa was not part of nonsense,”Naledi Pando – Foreign Minister of South Africa.
Pandor also said the people of Palestine deserved the same attention from the international community that the people of Ukraine received and added that Africa had at times experienced patronising and bullying from the West. South Africa, like India, is among the several Asian and African countries that have taken a neutral stance on the Ukraine war. Many African countries have declined to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Some are among more than 10 African governments that have signed deals with the Wagner Group of Russia to shore up their security.
In a speech Monday unveiling the Biden administration’s new strategy for Africa, Blinken said America’s more constructive alternative, including the promotion of democracy, debt relief, and support for farming and green power, an approach he hopes will prove more appealing than what U.S. officials characterize as China’s usurious debt practices and the destabilizing activities of the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group.
As competition for Africa between West and East intensifies, more and more African leaders are having to make harder choices. This poses a new set of challenges to a continent that has been beset by proxy driven conflicts in the past. The new approach towards the continent by the Biden Administration sets a lighter tone, after a push back on previous rhetoric viewed as patronizing by most Africans.