Giving it horns: while West dithers, Russia, China scramble for Africa
The two are stepping up their involvement here, leaving the US and Europe worried they are losing their grip
As China began making final preparations for its inaugural June 20-21 Horn of Africa peace summit in Ethiopia this week, AU chairperson and president of Senegal Macky Sall was in Paris pressuring French counterpart Emanuel Macron to ease sanctions on Russia to avoid a food crisis on the continent.
With Western nations heavily preoccupied with Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia and China have been on the march in Africa, using their very different strategies to deepen their interests and access here — to the mounting concern of the US and its European allies, worried their influence on the continent may be in serious decline.
So far 2022 has seen the Kremlin dramatically increase its activities in Mali, with suspected Russian Wagner Group mercenaries blamed for an uptick in civilian casualties in its long-running war. The global food and fuel prices spike sparked by the Ukraine war has hit Africa hard, with Russian President Vladimir Putin also wooing Sall on a visit to the Black Sea resort of Sochi this month and presenting the Kremlin as a solution to the problem — and not, as Western states say, the cause...