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African leaders want UN Security Council reformed, but mute on Russia-Ukraine crisis

NEW YORK (GA) – Recently, the leaders of the Economic Community of West Africa States and later the African Union strongly proposed the reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Vocal in this call is the President of Sierra Leone, his Excellency Julius Maada Bio. He is also chair of the AU African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and chair of the AU Committee of 10 for the Reform of the United Nations Security Council.

President Bio was accompanied by his foreign minister, Professor David John Francis, at ECOWAS and the African Union on the reform of the United Nations Security Council – on the margins of the 35th ordinary session of the AU Assembly of Heads of States and Government.

President Bio joined other like-minded African leaders who see the world’s global hypocrisy and undemocratic tenants in advancing equity in international decision-making. What is baffling to some in the West is the abrupt absence and deafness of African leaders and countries in the Russia-Ukraine crisis. 

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation Prof. David J. Francis together with his counterpart Sergey Lavrov

An African political scientist said, “It is enough to seek equality on the global stage; what matters is expressing your conviction and beliefs in global issues. The Russia-Ukraine crisis is one place, Africa, as a bloc could make a strong impact.” In short, Africa cannot have it both ways.

Several African states rely on international support from the West and countries such as China, Russia, and others. Therefore, calling those countries out when they are in clear violations of international protocols or fundamental rights and global social norms, leaders across the continent just become mute.

President Bio of Sierra Leone must be commended for drawing the conscience of his colleagues in Africa to the urgent and compelling need for democratic reform of the United Nations Security Council. But it would also be a good idea was African leaders led by President Bio to engage the Russia-Ukraine crisis as a continent voice.

Sierra Leone has cordial relations with Russia. In fact, in late 2021, Sierra Leone, Russia, signed Visa-free MOU with Russia during the country’s Foreign Minister’s one-day state visit to Moscow. According to diplomatic sources and releases, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation, Prof. David J. Francis, and his counterpart Sergey Lavrov signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a visa-free movement of holders of both Diplomatic and Service passports between the two countries.

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