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US’s Blinken begins four-nation Africa tour amid Sahel worries | Politics Information

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Biden’s tour of West Africa begins as one other high US official is on the same tour throughout the area.

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday stated the US is dedicated to deeper relations with Africa regardless of world crises as he opened a four-country tour of the continent.

Blinken is touring 4 democracies on the Atlantic Coast – Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Angola – as safety deteriorates within the Sahel and doubts develop a couple of key US base in neighbouring coup-hit Niger.

US President Joe Biden welcomed leaders from Africa in 2022 in a present of newfound consideration to the continent. However he didn’t go to Africa final yr as promised.

Blinken nonetheless quoted Biden as he vowed, “We’re all in in relation to Africa.”

“Our futures are linked, our prosperity is linked, and African voices more and more are shaping, animating and main the worldwide dialog,” Blinken stated as he opened talks in Cape Verde.

“America is dedicated to deepening, strengthening and broadening partnerships throughout Africa,” Blinken stated.

He known as Cape Verde, a Portuguese-speaking archipelago of round 500,000 people who has cooperated with the US on regulation enforcement and naval stops, a “beacon of stability” and a “robust, principled voice”.

A lot of the continent has been uneasy in regards to the billions of {dollars} in Western help to Ukraine, and Cape Verde’s Prime Minister Jose Ulisses Correia e Silva advised Blinken that his nation “strongly condemns” Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Silva additionally criticised the current spate of coups in Africa and stated that Cape Verde was “guided by the values of liberal democracy”.

Blinken toured the port within the capital Praia, expanded as a part of practically $150m given to Cape Verde by means of the Millennium Problem Company, which grants US help to international locations that meet democratic requirements.

The US authorities physique stated final month that it might work with Cape Verde on a 3rd bundle, and Silva invited the Peace Corps to return after a decade-long absence.

Afterward Monday, Blinken will head to Ivory Coast, the place he’ll watch the host nation tackle Equatorial Guinea within the Africa Cup of Nations.

The match will happen on the 60,000-seat Olympic stadium constructed with assist from China, whose personal Overseas Minister Wang Yi visited final week.

Together with Russia, China – which is seen by the US as the highest world rival – has quickly expanded its affect in Africa in recent times.

Whereas China has doled out loans for infrastructure tasks, Russia’s highly effective and ruthless Wagner Group of mercenaries has been deployed to Mali, the Central African Republic, and allegedly Burkina Faso.

A delegation visited Moscow final month from Niger, whose army final yr toppled elected President Mohamed Bazoum months after a go to by Blinken geared toward bolstering him.

Niger had been the linchpin in US efforts to counter armed teams who’ve ravaged the Sahel, with the US constructing a $100m base within the Nigerien desert metropolis of Agadez to fly a fleet of drones.

The federal government expelled forces from former colonial energy France.

Whereas Niger has allowed the US to maintain its practically 1,000 US troops, Common James Hecker, the US Air Power commander for each Europe and Africa, stated late final yr that “a number of areas” elsewhere in West Africa have been being mentioned for a brand new drone base.

As Blinken opens his go to, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield is touring three different West African nations – Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, the place she is attending a presidential inauguration and monitoring a peaceable transition of energy in a once-turbulent nation.


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