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Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Extended AU Office, which includes the AU Chair, the Chair of the AU Commission and accredited ambassadors, via video conference and behind closed doors on Monday, June 20. This speech by the President of Ukraine follows President Macky Sall’s visit to Russia on June 3 to call for a resumption of exports of Russian and Ukrainian grain, on which certain African countries depend.
“ Africa is hostage to those who started the war against our state “, the Ukrainian President started during his speech to the AU, adding that difficult negotiations are underway to “ Free Ukrainian ports “. Volodymyr Zelensky tries to get “ stronger engagement of African countries ” comments a researcher, to weigh in particular the UN authorities.
The President of Ukraine tried to mobilize to unite the countries of the continent for the Ukrainian cause. He has launched some unexpected initiatives, such as appointing a special Ukrainian envoy to Africa and holding a major Africa-Ukraine conference.
Africa accounts for a quarter of the votes in the UN General Assembly. But nearly half the continent abstained in a vote condemning Russian aggression three months ago. Another researcher believes that he certainly wants to remain neutral. But also the desire not to offend Russia, a powerful commercial and military partner on the continent.
►Also listen: International guest – Before the African Union, “the Ukrainian president wants to assert his story”
Volodymyr Zelenskyy did not come to conquered territory with the African Union. His speech has been postponed several times since April, our correspondent in Addis Ababa recalls, Noé Hochet-Bodin. This Monday he attracted little interest, only four African heads of state followed him.
This meeting, which was supposed to be a continental meeting, ended up being a meeting between the President of Ukraine and the enlarged Presidium of the African Union. There is an indication of the reluctance of African states to listen to the President of Ukraine, and that is perhaps the only negative aspect of the meeting.
Ibrahima Kane: “This meeting […] was finally between the President of Ukraine and the enlarged office of the African Union»
For its part, the African Union remained silent, remaining true to its non-aligned approach to the conflict. Their priority remains the transportation of fertilizers and grain to the mainland, which is partially prevented by the blockade of the Odessa port.
on social networks, AU Chairman Macky Sall, thanked the President of Ukraine for his intervention and recalled that Africa remains committed to respect for the rules of international law, the peaceful resolution of conflicts and freedom of trade. “ The destabilization of Africa through famine is as important as the outcome of the war in Ukraine ‘ said the Senegalese President.
I thank the President @ZelenskyyUa for his kind address today to the virtual meeting of the Enlarged Presidium of the@_AfricanUnion. Africa remains committed to respecting the rules of international law, the peaceful resolution of conflicts and freedom of trade. pic.twitter.com/63jZCvamix
— Macky Sall (@Macky_Sall) June 20, 2022
A position reiterated by AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat, who also recalled the urgent need for dialogue to end the conflict.
Roland Marchal (Science Po): Zelenskyj “thinks Africa could play a bigger role in pressuring Moscow”