Senegal and Algeria Opposed to Their Citizens Fighting in Ukraine

Ukrainian aviation unit. DR Congo.

Ukrainian aviation unit. DR Congo.

“Like their Algerian counterparts, the Senegalese authorities requested the Ukrainian embassy to immediately withdraw the call to recruitment without delay.”

Ukrainian soldiers have taken part in peacekeeping operations in Africa in recent years, and now Ukraine is urging African nationals to travel to Ukraine to fight Russian.  The excerpted French-language article in, which covers affairs in Francophone countries from an Algerian perspective, discussed the Algerian and Senegalese governments’ negative reactions to the prospects of their citizens fighting in Ukraine.  According to the article, the Ukrainian Embassies in Algeria and Senegal issued statements on Facebook calling on these countries’ citizens to join the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces to resist Russian aggression.  In response, the Algerian government demanded that Ukraine remove the post on grounds that it violates the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.  Senegal relayed the same message to Ukraine, while acknowledging that 36 Senegalese citizens had registered to fight.  Senegal is wary of foreign fighters given the experience of its nationals as foreign fighters with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)., for example, reported in the excerpted passage from 2016 that Senegalese had become influential in ISIS in both Libya and Syria.  Although the circumstances and threats are different with the situation in Ukraine, Senegal, like Algeria, remains steadfastly against allowing the participation of its nationals in foreign conflicts.


“Le grave dérapage de l’ambassade ukrainienne en Algérie (The serious mistake of the Ukrainian embassy in Algeria),”, 4 March 2022.

To all foreigners “who wish to join the resistance to the Russian occupiers and protect world security,” Ukrainian leaders offer you “to come to our country and join the ranks of the Territorial Defense Forces…,” the appeal read. The message was taken down after the Algerian foreign ministry ordered the Ukrainian embassy to delete it.

This message was also relayed by the Ukrainian Embassy in Senegal. The Ukrainian ambassador in Dakar confirmed the existence of the call while confirming the registration of 36 volunteer candidates. Like their Algerian counterparts, the Senegalese authorities requested the Ukrainian embassy to immediately withdraw the call to recruitment without delay.

Source: “Who are the Senegalese men joining the Islamic State group?,”, 1 February 2016.

Senegal is on edge after jihadist attacks have swept West Africa in the past few months, striking Mali in December 2015 and previously quiet Burkina Faso in January 2015. Senegal is worried that it might be the jihadists’ next target. In a sweep aimed at cracking down on insecurity, Senegal arrested 900 people in the cities of Dakar and Thies last month. Although most of these arrests were not on terror-related suspicions, the police said that the raids were carried out because of the terrorist threat.

Image Information:

Image: Ukrainian aviation unit. DR Congo.
Source: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine
Attribution: CC x 2.0