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Published on 25 October 2023 / Peace

Africa and conflict: Interview with Jean-Yves Ollivier


25 October, Paris - In a recent interview on the podcast "Comprendre le monde", created and presented by Pascal Boniface, Director of  the Institut de relations internationales et stratégiques (IRIS), Jean-Yves Ollivier, Founding Chaiman of the Brazzaville Foundation, discussed a range of international issues, including the conflict between Hamas and Israel, as well as the African peace initiative to facilitate Russia-Ukraine dialogue. The interview also focused on Africa's role in these conflicts and its vision of African sovereignty. Watch the interview in French below. If you wish to activate subtitles in English, Russian or Ukrainian, please click on the "Settings" icon (⚙️) at the bottom of the video and select the language of your choice.

Jean-Yves Ollivier on the podcast "Comprendre le monde" presented by Pascal Boniface, © IRIS.

African countries' reactions to the conflict between Hamas and Israel

The interview began by discussing the diversity of African countries' reactions to the conflict between Hamas and Israel. Jean-Yves Ollivier stressed that Africa, in general, favors a "two-state" solution to the Israeli-Palestinian question. Nevertheless, he pointed out that reactions vary according to the ideologies of certain African countries. For example, he mentioned that South Africa and Algeria adopt firm ideological positions on such issues. South Africa is known for its ideological resistance, which makes it more likely to condemn Israel. In closing, Jean-Yves Ollivier pointed out that these conflicts do not directly concern Africa, but that sympathy for Palestine is generally present.

The evolution of sovereignty in Africa

The interview also touched on the evolution of sovereignty in Africa. Jean-Yves Ollivier noted that African countries are moving from an era of independence to one of sovereignty. He explained that African countries are seeking to escape the post-colonial influence of the West and forge their own independent path. He stressed that Africa wants to decide its own policy, without outside interference.

France's approach to Africa

Jean-Yves Ollivier spoke of the difficulties France faces in West Africa, pointing out that the failure to listen to African aspirations is one of the major problems.

The role of the Brazzaville Foundation

Mr. Ollivier explained that the Brazzaville Foundation's mission during the conflict between Russia and Ukraine was not a direct mediation, but an attempt to make it clear that Africa could not remain indifferent to a conflict that has indirect repercussions on the continent. The mission had positive repercussions, and was followed by discussions between some African leaders and the parties concerned. "The Brazzaville Foundation has always adopted a neutral position and sought to hear the two [or more] parties to the conflict", he concluded.


Watch the interview on Pascal Boniface's YouTube channel and on audio platforms.