Africa News: Russia plays malign role in Africa


Syrians residing in Libya wave the former Syrian flag as they protest outside the Russian embassy in Tripoli on Feb. 5, 2012. The protest came after Russia and China for the second time vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on the President Bashar al-Assad regime's crackdown on dissent.


Mahmud Turkia

NAIROBI, Kenya — With nothing but its own domestic interests at heart Russia is playing an increasingly malign role in world affairs.

Last weekend Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution aimed at stopping the violence in Syria.

Of course the resolution may not have had much impact but reports from the besieged town of Homs over the last few days leave little doubt that Syria's government has increased its attacks on civilians and rebels alike in the wake of the resolution's rejection.

More from GlobalPost: Why Russia still stands by Syria

Earlier this year, there was a tribal slaughter in South Sudan that the UN mission was unable to prevent partly because Russia had grounded its helicopters.

Russia was concerned about the safety of its air crews and, in a row at UN headquarters, withdrew some helicopters and refused to allow others to be used. Ban Ki-moon had to beg troop-carrying helicopters from elsewhere. In the end the peacekeepers that arrived in Pibor were too few, and too late.

And now comes a report from Amnesty International saying that Russia (and, again, China as well as that repository of Cold War weaponry and leading arms exporter Belarus) is supplying new armaments to Sudan which Khartoum is using to attack civilians in the western region of Darfur.

When the UN Security Council meets to discuss sanctions against Sudan next week there'll be no prizes for guessing where Russia and China will stand.

More from GlobalPost: China faces Sudan dilemma