The United States asks Uganda to choose between America and Russia. A blackmail that Washington has decided to impose on the entire continent.
It is blackmail that puts many African countries at odds. During an African tour, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the American ambassador to the United Nations (UN), declared recently that, "if a country decides to engage with Russia, where there are sanctions, then it violates these penalties. It violates our sanctions, and in some cases it violates UN sanctions with other countries. And we advise countries not to breach these sanctions, because if they do, they risk being subject to action against them for breaching these sanctions.”
It was in Uganda that the diplomat issued her ultimatum. A threat that is not insignificant. As recalled this morning, AfricaIntelligence, the rumor of an import of Russian fuel in Kampala worries the United States which, according to the French newspaper, "are trying to put pressure on their Ugandan ally".
Threatening statements from the USA
For Yoweri Museveni, the Ugandan president, unaccustomed to having his conduct dictated to him, it is an important dilemma that stands before him. Because in times of financial crisis, the acquisition of cheap petroleum products is a godsend. But the US threat could well hurt the country's finances, Washington regularly making donations for refugee aid and health.
The threat of Linda Thomas-Greenfield is far from the program announced before her departure for Africa. The diplomat had indeed promised a “listening tour”. She wanted then, she said, “to find solutions, and not to blame” the African countries, in particular after the votes at the UN of the countries in favor of Russia or their abstention.
Upon her arrival in Uganda, however, she declared that "countries can buy Russian agricultural products, including fertilizers and wheat", but that the United States would refuse any long-term commitment with Russia.
Yoweri Museveni may be an ally of Washington, but he did not want to interfere in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. He has also repeatedly expressed his sympathy for Moscow.
The blackmail of development aid
However, the war in Ukraine has had serious consequences in terms of inflation and the food crisis. And the UN and American sanctions against Russia prevent certain countries, especially African ones, from being able to import basic necessities, fertilizers or oil.
This is disputed by Thomas-Greenfield, who dared to assert that the sanctions imposed by Washington were not responsible for the rise in food prices in Africa. The diplomat assures that the United States wants to set up partnerships with “mutual interests” between Uncle Sam and Africa.
Funny conception of the win-win partnership. Shortly before the American diplomat, it was Sergei Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, who had visited the continent. He then deplored "the absolutely inadequate reaction of the West, which announced sanctions" against Russia.
For its part, Europe has also engaged in incomprehensible blackmail: last April, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen affirmed that it was necessary "to punish the African countries which abstained or voted against the resolution presented to the UN. It indicated that it was necessary, in particular, for these countries, to eliminate development aid.