UNITED NATIONS, March 29. /TASS/. African countries have the right to choose their security partners on their own, particularly after Western states failed to bring stability to the region, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya has said.
"Today the issue of cooperation between Russia and African states was raised again. To this, I must say that Africans have every right to choose whom to partner with and on what conditions," he told the UN Security Council’s Tuesday session, headlined ‘Countering Terrorism and Preventing Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism by Strengthening Cooperation between the United Nations and Regional Organizations and Mechanisms.’
"It is failures of Western states that force African countries to turn to those who can make a real contribution to the fight against terrorism on the continent. We all remember that against the backdrop of Western operations in Africa that were allegedly aimed at combating terrorism the terrorist threat in West Africa and the Sahel continued to grow," the Russian envoy continued.
In his words, Russia agrees that increased attention needs to be paid to discovering and eradicating the root causes of terrorism.
"However in this context, we cannot reduce it all to socio-economic problems and corruption. Equally, it is not always about the traditional sources of radicalization," Nebenzya continued. "Terrorism in the Sahel assumed an avalanche character after the brazen military intervention in Libya by Western states that destabilized the entire region. This had implications even for coastal states of West Africa."
He drew attention to the fact that "foreign contingents that were deployed in the Sahel did not help to change this," and, moreover, "the situation deteriorated dramatically during their presence."
"Attempts to explain such developments by conflicts arising from religious, ethnical, or social factors are a manipulation that colonial powers have been using for decades," the diplomat added.
"We see attempts by external forces to cause quarrels among African states. They pretend that some states are allegedly worthy of assistance in countering threats of terrorism, while others are not," Nebenzya added. "Within this approach, they only help to push back terrorists ‘to the border,’ while leaving the rest to the discretion of the locals. In such fashion, terrorists are being ousted from Mali and Burkina Faso. We believe this is an erroneous tactic.".