Insightful stories of the most pressing local, regional, and international developments brought to you by Sputnik.

Western Weapons Delivered to Kiev May End Up in Terrorist Hands in Africa, Expert Says

© AP Photo / Efrem LukatskyUS-supplied M777 howitzer shells lie on the ground to fire at Russian positions in Donbass region on June 18, 2022.
US-supplied M777 howitzer shells lie on the ground to fire at Russian positions in Donbass region on June 18, 2022.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 25.07.2023
Earlier this month, Russia's ambassador to Libya, Aidar Aganin, stated that there is a high risk of "proliferation" of weapons delivered to Ukraine across African countries, with Libya being a transit corridor "during the period of anarchy and chaos."
Weapons supplied by the West to Ukraine could end up in the hands of terrorist groups in Africa, and the continuation of such deliveries will cause many more problems all over the globe, said Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of International Relations under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia Jafar Geletu.

"The conflict in Ukraine will undoubtedly create many problems for states worldwide. One of them [...] is related to the fact that military aid supplied [to Ukraine] may end up in other countries and fall into the wrong hands, for example, terrorists, rebel groups and so on, including those in Africa," he said on the sidelines of the Russian–African conference of the Valdai Discussion Club.

Geletu stressed that the supply of weapons to Kiev only prolongs the conflict. The expert pointed out that in order to address the Ukrainian crisis, it is necessary to exclude the intervention of external factors and switch to political and diplomatic methods.
Ukrainian soldiers fire at Russian positions from a US-supplied M777 howitzer in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region June 18, 2022.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 11.07.2023
Weapons From Ukraine May Spread to African Countries: Russian Ambassador to Libya

"Of course, the external actors involved in the conflict prolong it for both sides. So the problem should be solved by Russia and Ukraine jointly. They should sit down at the negotiating table and discuss how to solve the existing problems, while the intervention of certain actors will only create new problems and prolong the hostilities," the expert said.

Since the start of Russia's special military operation in February last year, the United States and other NATO members have sent billions of dollars worth of weapons and equipment to Ukraine to help it in the conflict with Russia.
A number of African leaders and officials from other countries have repeatedly pointed out that weapons traced back to Ukrainian stockpiles are being found with alarming frequency in those regions of Africa where the political situation is unstable.
In particular, last year, then-Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said that weapons from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine were slipping into the Lake Chad Basin region. He expressed his concern about the situation, stressing that they were falling into the hands of terrorists.