Africa mostly quiet amid widespread condemnation of Russia – The Columbian

KAMPALA, Uganda — Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni recently remarked that Russia’s war on Ukraine should be seen in the context of Moscow being the “center of gravity” for Eastern Europe.
His son, Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, was more forceful, declaring that most Africans “support Russia’s stand in Ukraine” and “Putin is absolutely right!”
Amid a worldwide chorus of condemnation, much of Africa has either pushed back or remained noticeably quiet. Twenty-five of Africa’s 54 nations abstained or didn’t record a vote in the U.N. General Assembly resolution earlier this month condemning Russia.
The reason? Many nations on the continent of 1.3 billion people have long-standing ties and support from Moscow, dating back to the Cold War when the Soviet Union supported anti-colonial struggles.
Those relations have tightened in recent years: As U.S. interest in Africa appeared to wane under President Donald Trump’s administration, Russia — along with China — expanded its influence, enlarging its economic footprint to include everything from agricultural programs to energy plants. In 2019, dignitaries from 43 African nations attended a summit with Russia, which also has become the dominant exporter of weapons into sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.