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US Lawmaker Says Would Be ‘Incredibly Unwise’ to Try to Push Russia, China Out of Africa

CC BY 4.0 / Jessica Rodriguez Rivas / US Congress
US Congress - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 21.03.2024
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Earlier this week, the US media reported that a key US ally in West Africa, Niger, is increasingly turning towards Russia and becoming another point of support for Moscow in the region.
US Congressman Adam Smith said on Thursday that the United States should not try to push out Russia and China from Africa as it would be “incredibly unwise” and advocated instead the maintenance of US presence on the continent.
“I do want to dispel the notion that somehow the US should just come in by force and push out China and Russia from having influence in Africa. A - that's not going to happen, B - would be incredibly unwise to do it. Russia and China are global powers, they are going to be present but we have to make sure is that we maintain our presence,” Smith said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing.
Smith urged the United States not to view Africa as some sort of chip in a broader geopolitical game, but rather to try to balance its interests with the national interests of the African countries to reduce the allegedly malign influence of Russia and China there.
In September 2023, the leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger signed a charter establishing the Alliance of Sahel States to create "a collective defense architecture" following coups in Mali in 2020, Burkina Faso in 2022 and Niger in 2023.
In the aftermath of the coups, Russia declared its readiness to develop constructive bilateral relations with each of the countries and also expressed support for their territorial integrity and sovereignty amid Western threats to impose sanctions and send troops to restore regimes friendly to Europe and the United States.