Divided continent: The place Africa stands on the Israel-Hamas warfare

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Few African leaders have spoken overtly in regards to the ongoing warfare between Israel and Hamas. Those that have, keep a agency stance on their divergent positions.

Reactions have been blended with analysts suggesting positions will not be solely primarily based on relationships with Israel and Palestine, which embrace authorities pursuits, but additionally the person historic context of every African nation.

Israel: Cameroon, DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia

Kenya joins the remainder of the world in solidarity with the State of Israel and unequivocally condemns terrorism and assaults on harmless civilians within the nation,” wrote President William Ruto on X (previously Twitter) shortly after Hamas’ assault on southern Israel on 7 October.

Ruto was not alone. Days later, throughout a visit to Washington, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo mentioned the nation “like all civilised international locations, is agency in her assist of Israel”.

Maybe Israel’s fiercest advocate on the continent resides in Cameroon, with President Paul Biya expressing “honest condolences” to Israel, a sufferer of the “Islamic Palestinian militant group Hamas,” in a letter to Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

Israel is a beautiful accomplice for a lot of African governments primarily due to its superior defence expertise and its place as a world chief within the agricultural sector.

Take Rwanda, the place Israel’s Gigawatt World developed the primary utility-scale photo voltaic photovoltaic facility in East Africa in 2015, or Cameroon, the place Israeli-based NUFiltration put in water decontamination techniques in 2018.

Within the final decade, Israeli personal charities, tech corporations and politicians have ramped up their efforts to assert prominence in Africa.

Palestine: Algeria, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia

On Monday, South Africa’s minister within the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni mentioned that the nation is recalling its diplomatic workers from Tel Aviv, referring to the battle as “one other holocaust”. The transfer got here days after Chad recalled its ambassador to Israel.

Earlier than that, South Africa’s ruling African Nationwide Congress (ANC) had already made its place clear: “It may possibly now not be disputed that South Africa’s apartheid historical past is occupied Palestine’s actuality,” mentioned ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri in a press release on 8 October.

Algeria’s overseas ministry additionally took to X to point out its assist for the Palestinian folks in a press release. “Algeria strongly condemns the brutal air strikes by the Zionist [Israeli] occupation forces within the Gaza Strip, and which triggered many casualties, together with youngsters and ladies.”

One other member of The Arab League, Tunisia, known as on the worldwide neighborhood to “stand with the Palestinian folks, and to recollect the massacres dedicated by the Zionist enemy to our Arab folks in Palestine”.

In Egypt, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi got here out in mid-October, professing  ‘unwavering assist’ for Palestinians, however issues stay within the nation concerning the attainable inflow of refugees.

The message coming from the pro-Palestinian nook is obvious – this isn’t warfare, that is genocide.

Neutrality: Nigeria, Uganda

Nigeria and Uganda, whereas not remaining silent, have remained decidedly impartial.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has voiced his assist for a ‘two-state resolution’ whereas a press release from Nigeria’s Ministry of Overseas Affairs urged each side to “train restraint” and “prioritise the security of civilians”.

Did [Israel] go into Africa as a result of we wished votes on the United Nations?

“Israel is coming again to Africa, and Africa is returning to Israel,” mentioned present Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in February 2016 whereas welcoming former Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta throughout a state go to in Jerusalem.

However Israel’s ties to Africa return additional than that. Within the late Fifties and Sixties, then overseas minister Golda Meir performed an intense diplomatic marketing campaign throughout the continent and by the tip of the last decade had established strong diplomatic relationships with at the very least 30 African international locations.

Meir’s marketing campaign purportedly aimed to point out assist for the anti-colonial motion sweeping the continent on the time.

“Did we go into Africa as a result of we wished votes on the United Nations? Sure, in fact that was one in all our motives – and a superbly honourable one – which I by no means, at any time, hid both from myself or from Africans,” Meir says in her autobiography.

At this time, Israel has embassies and consulates in 12 African international locations with 44 AU member states recognising Israel’s statehood.

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