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How Israel-Palestine conflict has divided African countries

Many African nations have unanimously urged both Israel and Palestine to embrace peace, yet their reactions showed a spectrum of viewpoints.

Many towers have been flattened in Palestine after Hamas attack on Israel.  [Anadalou Ajansi]

In a swift response, Israel conducted a significant air assault on Gaza, resulting in the tragic loss of hundreds of Palestinian lives.

While the two countries continue to launch attacks and count their casualties, world leaders have expressed concerns over the killing of innocent lives and destruction of properties.

Joining the conversation, many African nations have unanimously urged both Israel and Palestine to embrace peace, even though their reactions showed a spectrum of viewpoints.

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The reactions from 10 African countries regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict underscore a diverse array of positions. Some countries express deep sympathy for Palestine’s cause, some firmly support Israel, while others maintain a neutral standpoint in the ongoing conflict.

In its reaction to Hamas’ attack on Israel, the Government of Ghana reaffirmed its support for the country.

In a statement by its Foreign Affairs Ministry, on Sunday, the West African country “Unequivocally condemns the attacks and calls on the Hamas leadership to immediately cease the attacks and withdraw its militants from southern Israel.”

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While Ghana affirms its support for Israel’s right to exist and defend itself, it calls on the Israeli government to exercise restraint in its response to Hamas attacks”

The President of Kenya, William Ruto, believes there is no justification for Hamas attack on Israel.

Ruto while condemning the attack said his country “Joins the rest of the world in solidarity with the State of Israel and unequivocally condemn terrorism and attacks on innocent civilians in the country.”

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In a statement shared on his Twitter page, Ruto said, “The people of Kenya and their government hereby express deepest sympathy and send condolences to the families of all victims. We also wish a speedy recovery to the injured.”

Contrary to the popular views on the crisis, South Africa believes the attack against Israel was prompted by the country’s continued illegal occupation of Gaza.

In a statement by the country’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), on Saturday, the country condemned Israel’s occupation of Palestine saying, “The new conflagration has arisen from the continued illegal occupation of Palestine land, continued settlement expansion, desecration of the Al Aqsa Mosque and Christian holy sites, and ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people.”

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In a statement on Saturday, the Federal Government of Nigeria expressed deep concern about the outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Hamas.

The country’s foreign affairs minister, Yusuf Tuggar, called for a “ceasefire” and a “peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue.

The The Federal Government of Nigeria added that the violence and retaliation the current escalation has assumed would only perpetuate an unending cycle of pain for the civilian population.

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With Israel declaring war on Palestine, the Government of Morocco expressed “deep concern over the deterioration of the situation and the outbreak of military operations in the Gaza strip.”

In a statement by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the country further called for “an immediate stop to all violent action and to return to de-escalation,” adding that any “further escalation could impede peace efforts in the region.

Morocco also condemned the targeting of civilians “from any side.”

Like Morocco, the Government of Egypt has called for the de-escalation of the ongoing hostilities between Israel and Palestine. In a statement by its Foreign Ministry on Saturday, the North African country urged the warring parties to exercise maximum self-restraint to avoid bloodshed and protect lives.

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The country also warned that “An escalation of violence would have a negative impact on the future of peace talks.”

The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni in his reaction suggested the implementation of the two-state solution proposed by the Peel Commission in 1937 as the ideal solution to the lingering conflict between Palestine and Israel.

The Peel Commission recommendation envisioned a situation where two separate, sovereign states, exist side by side within agreed and recognized borders.

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It is on this premise that Museveni called on the warring countries to implement a two-state solution.

In a tweet on Saturday, the Ugandan President said, “The break out of renewed violence in Israel-Palestine is regrettable. Why don’t the two sides implement the two States’ solution? To be condemned, in particular, is the practice of targeting civilians and non-combatants by the belligerents.”

In its reaction to the conflict, the Government of Tunisia declared “full and unconditional” solidarity with the Palestinian people.

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The North African country further urged the international community to take responsibility for putting an end to Israel’s “barbaric attacks” against Palestinians.

Also, in expressing their support for Palestinians, dozens of Tunisians on Sunday, October 8, 2023, organised a protest to condemn Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

In a statement condemning Hamas attacks, Zambia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Stanley Kakubo declared his country’s support for Israel.

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In the statement posted on his Twitter page, Kakubo said, “We strongly condemn the recent attacks on Israel, which have regrettably resulted in the loss of lives. We unequivocally denounce all acts of aggression and violence, and continue to emphasise the necessity of pursuing diplomatic means to resolving international conflicts.”

In a statement posted on the Facebook page of Sudan’s News Agency, on Saturday, the country’s Foreign Ministry declared support for Palestine.

The ministry said, “Sudan is following with concern the dangerous developments currently taking place in occupied Palestine.”

The Israel-Palestine situation prompted the Northeastern African country to renew “Its support for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to have their independent state. It calls for adherence to international resolutions and the protection of innocent civilians.”

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Africa nations may have expressed divergent views inspired by historical, political, and diplomatic factors on the lingering conflict in the middle east, it is important to note that they all stand united in the call for peace.

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