Wed, 07 Jun 2023 Feature Article

A quick note to Kofi Boakye-Yiadom - on why the war in Ukraine concerns Africans too

A quick note to Kofi Boakye-Yiadom - on why the war in Ukraine concerns Africans too

Favourite nephew, on the thorny issue of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the question to ponder over is: Why fight wars in the first place - when every general, who genuinely cares about the well-being and welfare of the troops under his or her command, whom you talk to earnestly, will tell you candidly, that resolving differences between nations, is achieved most effectively, in the longterm, not militarily, but through diplomacy?

In any case, if the privileged politicians who declare wars (that ordinary folk invariably end up having to fight in, and risk being maimed and losing their lives doing so), were forced to lead battlefield troops, personally, from the frontlines, themselves, wouldn't wars virtually cease, somehow, worldwide, I ask? Haaba.

Unfortunately, many Africans think that the war in Ukraine doesn't affect them - but it does. Ukraine exported about 6.26mn tonnes of wheat to Africa in 2021-22, accounting for nearly 12 percent of total African wheat imports. Bread is important for most families across the continent, is it not? Haaba.

Furtheremore, the super-ruthless Russian mercenary group, Wagner, has a presence in Africa - where it is hoovering up minerals and other valuable natural resources, in exchange for providing more or less outdated Russian military hardware, and ineffectual training to enrich its founder, the billionaire Yevgeny Prigozhin.

So every African, who thinks clearly, ought to be concerned about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and its deliberate targeting of civilians and critical infrastructure. That the Wagner Group could attempt to do same here, too, one day, cannot be ruled out.

Favourite nephew, Putin has forced a great European power, the Russian Federation, which ought to be a force for good, globally, to morphe into a bad-actor on the global stage - which is why Africans, a mostly compassionate people, must condemn Russia's totally unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine. Full stop. Case closed.