CBS | Johannesburg — A German foreign ministry quip about leopards and an African tour by Russia’s top diplomat has sparked a cool response on the continent, ranging from bewilderment to accusations of insensitivity. On Wednesday, Germany said it would deliver 14 of its top-of-the-line Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, bolstering support for the country in its fight against the Russian invasion along with the U.S., which promised 31 M1 Abrams tanks.
The move was announced as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was in southern Africa on a trip aimed at drumming support for Moscow.
“Lavrov is in Africa, not to see (leopard emoji) but to bluntly claim that #Ukraine’s partners ‘want to destroy everything Russian’,”
the German foreign office tweeted.
The Russian Foreign Minister #Lavrov is in Africa, not to see ?, but to bluntly claim that #Ukraine’s partners “want to destroy everything Russian”. Here is a ? with all of his “evidence”: 1/3
— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) January 24, 2023
Some were unimpressed by the pun and hit at the emoji as a stereotype of Africa as a land for little more than safaris.
Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for the African Union’s chair, replied asking whether German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had also “come to see animals” when she visited the Ethiopia-based AU headquarters this month.
“Or is the Continent of Africa, its people & wildlife just a joke to you?” she wrote.
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Zainab Usman, head of the Africa Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said the tweet was “not a good look.”
This is not a good look, @GermanyDiplo. Using terrible stereotypes of Africa (“Africa is a vast landscape of wild animals in the bush”) to score a geopolitical upper cut to an adversary in a European war will not win you any African friends. Tone deaf! Do better! https://t.co/YwOZopBg1M
— Zainab Usman (@MssZeeUsman) January 25, 2023
“Using terrible stereotypes… to score a geopolitical upper cut to an adversary in a European war will not win you any African friends. Tone deaf! Do better!” she wrote on Twitter.
Later the German foreign office replied it was “sorry” and the tweet was “in no way intended to mean offense” but to call out “the lies that Russia uses to justify its war of aggression.”
“Point taken. Thinking of a different, German breed of leopards may have made us miss the connotation you are pointing out,” it said in a reply to Usman.
there is nothing shocking in this.africa has the oppotunity to take sides with russia and push the caucasian world to decline.
fast forward 25 years from now.what would germany`s position in the world be?
Bah, aren’t Germany like France, England etc already vassals of uncle Sam? Don’t mind dem
brothajoe ,,,,,of course they are ,and they have no desire to take the opposite direction.