Sub-Saharan Africa
Sputnik brings you all the most recent information, major events, heroes and views, including breaking news, images, videos, analyses, and features.

US 'Committed' to South Africa Ties Despite Arms Sales Allegations

© AP Photo / Andrew HarnikSouth Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor, right, accompanied by Secretary of State Antony Blinken
South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor, right, accompanied by Secretary of State Antony Blinken - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 16.05.2023
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States continues to be committed to its relationship with South Africa amid rising tensions over US allegations that the country provided arms to Russia, State Department Spokesman Vedant Patel said on Monday.
"I'll note that our relationship with South Africa remains strong and we continue to be committed to the affirmative agenda of our bilateral relationship," Patel said at a press conference.
The comment comes a week after US Ambassador Reuben Brigety publicly accused South Africa of alleged supplying weapons to Russia for use in the Ukraine conflict despite its neutral stance on Moscow's special military operation by pointing to the 'arrival' of a Russian ship at the South African Navy's Simon's Town base.
South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 15.05.2023
Sub-Saharan Africa
South Africa Under 'Extraordinary Pressure' to Pick Sides in Ukraine Conflict
The South African presidency then expressed dissatisfaction with Brigety, saying that his claims undermined "the spirit of cooperation and partnership" between the two countries.
Two days later, Brigety admitted that he had crossed the line and apologized after an official protest from the South African Foreign Ministry, the official diplomatic body said in a statement.
However, the US Defense Department spokesperson Pat Ryder said, that the United States takes seriously and closely monitors the situation regarding alleged shipments of military equipment from South Africa to Russia.
"This is something we are taking seriously," Ryder told reporters when asked whether the United States believes South Africa has provided weapons and ammunition to Russia.
Nonetheless, Ryder declined to get into the specifics but did say the US government has raised the issue with the South African government.
Ryder noted that the United States has strongly urged countries not to provide military and other support to Russia.
In his statement on Monday, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa said that Pretoria has been under "extraordinary pressure" to abandon its position of being neutral and choose sides in the confrontation between Russia and the West.