African governments endorse Putin’s re-election


Russian President Vladimir Putin

Executive Editor
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – AS geopolitical tensions escalate after controversial polls in Russia, some African governments, mostly those either led by military juntas or with soured relations with the West, have endorsed the re-election of President Vladimir Putin.

These African governments, including the Sahel trio of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, have welcomed Putin’s retaining of power and further pledged to expand the growing ties with Russia after falling out with former colonisers, France, and the United States, one of Russia biggest global foes.

Zimbabwe, with a history of disputed polls, has also waded into the issue by endorsing the re-election of the Russian strongman, in a poll Western nations have denounced.

“Russia’s recent presidential election occurred in an environment of intense repression of independent voices and the imprisonment, death, or exile of virtually all genuine political opposition,” Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State alleged without providing evidence to his claims.

He claimed the Kremlin has systematically marginalized groups advocating for democratic processes and rule of law, including election monitors.

“Vladimir Putin is depriving Russian citizens of access to information, including to inform political participation,” Blinken added, forgetting the United States itself was prosecuting opposition leader Donald Trump in an attempt to bar him from contesting this year’s elections.

However, the mood is different in some African countries, particularly those that have sought to expand ties with president Putin’s Russian government.

For Niger, it coincided with the military government in that country revoking a military deal with the US “with immediate effect”, paving way for Russia to move in.

Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, president of Nigeria’s National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, as the military administration is known, congratulated Putin.

“Your brilliant re-election as head of Russia gives me the chance to convey to your Excellency, on behalf of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, the government, the people of Niger and on my behalf, the most sincere and warmest congratulations and best wishes for your noble mission,” read a statement.

Tchiani pledged the country’s readiness to enhance ties with Putin’s government.

In Mali, interim president, Col. Assimi Goita, echoed the sentiments.

“I extend my warm congratulations to President Putin for the renewed confidence of his people and wish him every success in the fulfillment of his high functions,” he said.

He hailed Russia as a strategic and sincere partner of Mali.

“I renew our friendship,” Goita said.

Col. Ibrahim Traore, head of the Burkina Faso military government also sent his congratulations.

“May this new mandate contribute to strengthening the already excellent relations between our countries for the happiness of the brave people of Burkina Faso and Russia,” he stated.

The three countries have in recent years broadened ties with Russia in the fight against Islamist insurgents. France and the US’influence has waned since the coups that brought current administrations.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Election Observer Mission to Russian has declared the election as “free, fair and credible.”

The observer mission congratulated Russians voting in a “peaceful” environment.

On Wednesday, Russia donated 25 000 tonnes of wheat grain and 23 000 tonnes of fertilizer to the drought-stricken Southern African country.

In addition to being a longtime political ally, Russia has a significant presence in Zimbabwe, particularly in its vast mining sector.

Relations between the two countries have grown since Zimbabwe fell out with the West in the early 2000s over land reforms and elections.

Russian spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, accused the West of trying to derail the country’s elections, but argued the West’s wicked moves failed dismally.

“Though the West & its provocateurs tried their best to prevent voting in the Russian Presidential election, denigrate & belittle the civic responsibility of hundreds of thousands of our citizens abroad, they failed. They wanted it (election) the worst, but it went our way,” Zakharova said.

She added: “The #West itself guaranteed Vladimir #Putin’s historic victory in the Russian presidential election by ensuring that #NATO is perceived in the country as a dangerous enemy.”

– CAJ News

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