Ukraine’s Zelenskyy requests address with Africa Union

Kyiv could be seeking to court African countries, which have mostly stayed neutral or muted in condemnation of Russia.

Senegal's President Macky Sall standing at a podium
Senegal's President Macky Sall addresses the closing of the 35th ordinary session of the Assembly of the African Union at the AU Commission headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 6, 2022 [File: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked to speak to the African Union, according to his Senegalese counterpart, Macky Sall.

In a tweet on Monday night, Sall who has been chairperson of the 55-member continental body since February, referenced a call with Zelenskyy on the same day.

The duo also discussed the global economic effect of the war in Ukraine and “the need to favour dialogue for a negotiated outcome to the conflict”.

Translation: “I thank President @ZelenskyyUa for his call today. We discussed the impact of the war in Ukraine, on the world economy and the need to favour dialogue for a negotiated outcome to the conflict. I also noted his request to make a communication to the AU.”

So far, a number of African countries have been neutral or muted in their criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine due to Moscow’s longstanding relations with the continent since the Cold War era.

Earlier this month, the United Nations General Assembly suspended Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. Nine of the countries that voted against the resolution were African, and another 23 abstained from voting – more than half of the continent.

Interactive UNGA resolution vote to suspend Russia from Human Rights Council

Source: Al Jazeera