Russia-Ukraine War: African leaders visit Kyiv on peace mission to end clashes

Russia-Ukraine War: African leaders visit Kyiv on peace mission to end clashes

The presidents of Zambia, Senegal, Comoros, South Africa and Egypt’s prime minister, alongside senior officials from Uganda and Congo-Brazzaville visited Ukraine on Friday to initiate talks to end the war between Russia and Ukraine since Moscow’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.

In a joint press conference with President Volodymyr Zelensky, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said African countries were prepared to take part in a peace deal to end the war in Ukraine.

The delegates are also expected to travel to Russia for a meeting with President Putin on Saturday in St Petersburg, the capital.

Following his discussion with the delegates, Mr Zelenskyy stressed that peace talks would be possible only if Russia withdraws from occupied territories.

“We need real peace, and therefore, a real withdrawal of Russian troops from our entire independent land.” Zelenskyy said.

The African leaders’ journey to Ukraine was the first of its type, following other peace initiatives like that of China.

The move becomes more important for African countries because they largely rely on food and fertilizer deliveries from Russia and Ukraine.

President Ramaphosa of South Africa confirmed that the conflict is affecting Africa negatively hence the need to bring the war between Russia and Ukraine to an end.

He also pressed for more prisoner swaps while calling for displaced children to be returned to their homes.

Earlier, the team lit candles at a mass grave at St Andrew’s Church in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv.

African nations, especially South Africa, have largely remained neutral on the Ukraine war but Zambia, Egypt and Comoros voted against Russia in a UN resolution condemning the invasion.

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