Coup wave in Africa – Schallenberg: ‘Must not look neocolonial’


The veritable wave of military coups in West and Central Africa and especially in the Sahel zone, along with the war in Ukraine, is the dominant topic at the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Toledo, Spain, on Thursday. For Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, alarm bells should be ringing in all EU countries. In addition to sanctions, diplomatic pressure on the coup plotters must be increased. However, Schallenberg also had a warning ready: one should not adopt a “neocolonial attitude”.

The Sahel zone in particular is a very important region for the European Union and for stability in Africa, especially because the routes of the illegal immigration mafia run here. Like German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Schallenberg also called for support for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)’s hitherto mainly economic sanctions against the military coups. However, the EU must use all diplomatic means before supporting the military interventions envisaged by ECOWAS.

“African solutions to African problems”
Foreign Minister Schallenberg is sure: “African solutions to African problems”. The European states should be very careful not to adopt a neo-colonial attitude. “The fact that Russian flags are being waved and anti-French songs are being sung in Niger shows that our soft power is much less than we wanted or thought,” said Schallenberg. Europe must change the tone in which it speaks to African states and listens to how it can help, rather than imposing solutions from the outside.

As the EU progressed in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, Schallenberg made it clear that the EU still needed continued power. In view of the increase in military aid to Ukraine by €20 billion to four years from the EU Peace Facility Fund, proposed by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, Schallenberg made it clear that whether this amount was really necessary still needed to be discussed. But in general, Ukraine still needs the support of the EU.

No Austrian weapons to Ukraine
“This is not about prolonging a war, but about supporting Ukraine in its struggle for its freedom and territorial integrity. Our goal is peace, but a fair peace and a peace that is not dictated by Moscow,” the minister stressed. However, with regard to military aid, Austria’s position has not changed: “We will not provide or finance arms deliveries. This is our neutrality status.”

Source: Krone


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