On Friday, January 13, the French and German Ministers of Foreign Affairs, respectively, Catherine Colonna and Annalena Baerbock met the African Union Commission’s President, Moussa Faki Mahamat in Ethiopia. In a press conference following the meeting, the two ministers asked African countries to condemn the “Russian aggression” in Ukraine.
One of the main goals of this meeting was the war in Ukraine. French Foreign Affairs Minister, Catherine Colonna said: “There is an aggressor and an attacked one, and it is important that everyone tells the aggressor that he must stop his aggression. We have common interests and expectations towards our African friends.” German Foreign Affairs Minister, Annalena Baerbock was on the same page as Colonna: “We need Africa to defend peace.”
Furthermore, during their meeting with the African Union Commission’s President, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the European ministers showed their support for the African continent regarding its place in the United Nations. Baerbock said: “The world in 2023 is not the same as after WWII, and that is why we support the allocation of two permanent seats to the African continent.” Mahamat agreed and qualified the under-representation of Africa in the United Nations Security Council as an “injustice.”
Colonna posted on her Twitter right after the meeting in Ethiopia: “Honored to be received at the headquarters of African Union with Annalena Baerbock by President Mahamat Faki. France supports Africa’s demand for equitable participation in global governance (G20). United Nations Security Council is essential to preserve a global order based on the rule of law.”
Baerbock and Colonna stated that both French and Germany are here to help economically and with food insufficiency to avoid a crisis. According to the two politicians, who are working with the World Food Program, the two countries invest 30 million dollars to deliver 50 000 tons of Ukrainian wheat.
Moreover, following the peace agreement between Tigray rebels and the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian army announced its retreat of a regional pro-governmental force in a strategic Tigray city. Colonna said: “There is no lasting peace without justice, no more in Ethiopia than elsewhere, but no less either, it is one of the conditions of lasting peace to do justice.” Baerbock added: “It is important that crimes be judged.”
Regarding Russia, both Ministers criticized Russian President, Vladimir Putin’s action of “using cereals as a war weapon.” For months, Ukraine, one of the world’s major grain producers, couldn’t send wheat to the world and more precisely, to a country in need like Ethiopia. With the Tigray war and the Ukrainian war, Ethiopia was close to famine. However, thanks to the peace agreement, humanitarian aid could resume.
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