AFRICA

SA Welcomes ICC Prosecutor’s Call for Arrest of Israeli PM, Defense Chief, 3 Hamas Leaders

On Monday, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the country’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and three Hamas leaders may be responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. South Africa welcomed the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) prosecutor’s request for arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his defense chief, and three Hamas leaders over alleged war crimes. “The law must be applied equally to all in order to uphold the international rule of law, ensure accountability for those that commit heinous crimes, and protect the rights of victims,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office said in a statement. The statement was made after the ICC prosecutor had requested on Monday arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Gallant, and three Hamas leaders over alleged crimes committed in the Gaza Strip from October 8. In late December 2023, South Africa filed a lawsuit against Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which ruled in January provisional measures ordering Israel to prevent acts of genocide and ensure the flow of humanitarian aid to the enclave. Last week, new hearings on the case were held in the ICJ at the request of South Africa, which cited the intensification of the alleged genocide in Gaza.

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Which Sub-Saharan African Countries Have Lowest Debt Burden in 2024?

The World Bank recently warned that half of vulnerable countries, including African nations, are in debt distress or at high risk of debt distress, and foreign creditors, both private and sovereign, have withdrawn. Equatorial Guinea, Botswana and Chad topped the list of sub-Saharan African countries with the lowest external debt-to-GDP ratios in 2024, according to the International Monetary Fund. Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo also made the top five on the list, which does not include Zambia and Eritrea due to a lack of data. Sputnik Africa has compiled the top 10 sub-Saharan African countries in terms of lightness of debt burden: At the other end of the scale were Cape Verde with a score of 93.25, Mozambique (65.54), and Rwanda (60.19). Other countries in the top five sub-Saharan African countries in terms of debt burden are Angola and Lesotho, with debt-to-GDP ratios of 52.91 and 46.8, respectively. External debt relief is one of the main themes in the economic rhetoric of African leaders. Speaking at the International Development Association (IDA) summit in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on April 29, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan called on the World Bank to focus on providing concessional loans to free countries from debt, noting that African countries continue to face multiple crises.

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Hundreds of CAR Officers Currently Undergoing Training in Russia, CAR Defense Minister Says

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Last week, CAR President Faustin Archange Touadera said that his country has trained more than 10,000 young soldiers with the help of Russian instructors. Hundreds of officers of the armed forces of the Central African Republic (CAR) are currently undergoing training in Russia, CAR Defense Minister Claude Rameaux Bireau said on Wednesday. “Over the past five years, Russian instructors have trained more than 10,000 servicemen of the armed forces of the CAR. And the training process is qualitatively different from the learning experience with other partners,” the minister said in an interview with RTVI.

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Russia Could Support Africa’s Regional Anti-Terrorism Center, Expert Says

On Monday, Bola Tinubu, the president of Nigeria, which has been plagued by insecurity due to multiple terrorist threats, called for the creation of a regional anti-terrorism center in Africa that would serve as a hub for intelligence sharing, operational coordination, and capacity building across the continent. Russia, with its rich experience in combating terrorism, can contribute to the regional anti-terrorism center in Africa, as proposed by Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, Djibril Gningue, director of the peace and security research unit of GRADEC (the research group for participatory democracy and good governance), told Sputnik Africa. He added that Russia is now helping with security in the countries of the Alliance of Sahel States (AES) – Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger – and, if successful, could be more effective than other states. “If Moscow succeeds in this first test with these countries, it will be able to make a much more effective contribution than the African Union’s traditional partners to the establishment and operation of this center,” Gningue stressed, adding that the center should unite the forces of AES states. The expert noted that several African countries in the Sahel are facing terrorism without the support of the international community and described the AU Peace and Security Commission and the Economic Community of West African States as “inoperative.”

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International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy: Which Way to Fix Africa’s Problems?

Six years ago, the UN designated April 24 as the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy, emphasizing that no country can solve today’s problems alone. Multilateralism is often defined as a form of cooperation between at least three states based on fundamental principles such as consultation, inclusiveness and solidarity. As Africa faces a myriad of challenges – development, climate change, growing instability, interstate disputes – consensus through multilateral diplomacy is the only way to resolve them, Prof. Felix Asogwa, Professor of International Relations at Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUST), lawyer and Director of the Institute for Peace, Conflict and Development Studies at ESUST, told Sputnik Africa. “There’s no way on an individual basis, these countries can be able to surmount some of these challenges they are facing, except through cooperation, which is what multilateral diplomacy is preaching,” Asogwa said. “To that extent, there’s no meaningful way of achieving all the common challenges these Third World countries are facing, except through the instrumentality of multilateral diplomacy.” The expert noted that African countries had been aware of the importance of multilateralism from the “very beginning,” from the formation of the Organization of African Unity to the present African Union. Today, the AU and other regional organizations on the continent “provide the platform for this multilateral diplomacy to thrive in Africa,” he added. “To a greater extent, they will enable […] to coming together, to realize the need to form a common front in terms of resolving conflict, in terms of pursuing common objectives which they share together, and so on and so forth. So within the African continent, the spirit of multilateralism has always flowered,” the pundit opined. The major challenge for the African Union today is the organization’s lack of independence, the expert said, explaining that the AU has been criticized for being heavily dependent on Western influence. According to the analyst, Western powers are influencing the direction of both political and economic developments in Africa by “subverting the whole idea of ‘intra’ within African cooperation.” “That is one key challenge, Africa, in terms of lack of independent existence because most African countries are under the influence of Western powers. It has transmitted to the multilateral arrangements within Africa, so that such arrangements have not been able to be firm because of this overbearing influence, especially coming from the Western powers,” Asogwa opined.

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