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Sports "real partnership": the new quest for the United States in Africa

16:10  10 august  2022
16:10  10 august  2022 Source:   lepoint.fr

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  « Véritable partenariat » : la nouvelle quête des États-Unis en Afrique © Andrew Harnik / Pool / AFP

"C e that we are looking for above all, it is a real partnership between the United States and Africa . We do not want an unbalanced or transactional relationship, "said Antony Blinken, the American secretary of state, during a press briefing with his South African counterpart Naledi Pandor. "The United States will not dictate the choices of Africa and no one else should do so," he said a little later, in a speech at the University of Pretoria. “The right to make these choices belongs to Africans alone. "And to continue:" Too often, the African nations have been treated as instruments of progress of other nations rather than as the authors of their own progress. At the same time, Washington unveiled an orientation document announcing an all -round overhaul of its policy in sub -Saharan Africa, where the Americans intend to counter the Russian and Chinese presence and develop, in particular, non -military approaches against terrorism.

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pose the framework of a clear strategy towards Africa

This new strategy, which recognizes the increasing demographic importance of Africa, its weight at The UN, as is its immense natural resources and opportunities, comes at a time when the accent put by the United States on the military fight against extremist groups in Africa is criticized for its ineffectiveness. "The poor governance, exclusion and corruption inherent in weak democracies make them more vulnerable to extremist movements, as well as to foreign interference," said Blinken. "This includes (the company) Wagner supported by the Kremlin, which exploits instability to plunder resources and commits abuse with impunity," he added. His visit to Pretoria, the first stage of an African tour which must lead him in the coming days in Kinshasa and Kigali, aims to try to bring the South African diplomacy of the Western camp closer and to thwart Russian influence on the continent, have advanced several experts. She narrowly follows the tour in Africa at the end of July of her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

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"Africa, not an international competition field"

but, on Monday, the secretary of state, bilingual English-French, swore that his country did not consider the region as the "last playground in a competition between great powers ". "It is fundamentally not as we see things," he insisted. Our commitment to a strengthened partnership with Africa does not consist in trying to surpass anyone.

The attention of the United States for Africa has often been relegated to the background and the US government says it wants to change dynamics. “Today is not the culmination of our partnership, but it is the beginning of a new chapter. The president (Joe) Biden is impatient to welcome the president (South African Cyril) Ramaphosa in Washington next month, "upstream of an American-African summit scheduled for December 13 in Washington.

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The United States must integrate the desire for neutrality of Africans

South Africa has adopted, since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine In February, a neutral position and refused to join Western calls to condemn Moscow. His Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Pandor, has regretted the speeches of "condescendant intimidation" of several countries, in particular, in particular, with regard to South Africa, thanking Washington for having given him thanks to this your. On Ukraine, she added: "We are dismayed by war", not a single South African supports it. But she mentioned the current tensions in Gaza to say: "We should be just as concerned about what happens to the people of Palestine as by what happens to the people of Ukraine.

Mr. Blinken has also once again regretted the recent Chinese withdrawal of crucial, crucial climate dialogues, in a context of tensions around Taiwan, a "deeply unhappy" decision and which "punishes the whole world", a- he underlined during the press point. Already on Saturday, in Manila, he had denounced the "total disproportion" of the Chinese reaction.

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