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Six African Heads of State Want to Push Russia, Ukraine to End War



Given its extensive adverse effects on African countries, leaders on the continent have resolved to play a critical role in attempts to end the war in Ukraine.

This was one of the outcomes of a virtual meeting between six African presidents, which South African President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted on Monday.

Included in the meeting were Ramaphosa’s Comoros Islands counterpart, African Union president Othman Ghazali; the president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi; Senegalese President Macky Sall; Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni; and the president of Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema.

According to the South African Presidency, the heads of state deliberated the devastating impact the war has had on the people of Ukraine and Russia, as well as the threats it poses to Europe and the rest of the world.

They agreed that they would engage with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the elements for a ceasefire and lasting peace.

The foreign ministers of the respective countries were tasked with, according to the Presidency, finalising the elements of a roadmap.

“The presidents confirmed their availability to travel to Ukraine and Russia in mid-June,” it added.

El-Sisi’s spokesperson, Ahmed Fahmy, said the leaders also discussed the details of the African initiative for the mediation between Russia and Ukraine.

“They affirmed that Africa has a firm interest in working towards an end to this conflict, given its enormous negative effects on African countries and the rest of the world in several vital sectors, such as food and energy security and international finance, in addition to their importance to reinforce international peace and stability,” Fahmy said.

Fahmy added that El-Sisi confirmed that Egypt hoped that the African initiative would contribute to the settlement of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, in light of the African continent’s extended relations with the two states, as well as the multiple dimensions of the crisis, which has crossed its geographical boundaries to affect different regions of the world, particularly Africa, the Middle East and developing countries.

The Egyptian president stressed that his country, like SA, had adopted a balanced position.

Fahmy added that settling conflicts through peaceful means was important, allowing dialogue to prevail, and mobilising international efforts to reach a solution that takes into account all parties’ concerns to ensure global stability and security.

Museveni thanked Ramaphosa for hosting the virtual meeting.

“This war affects all of us, and it can get worse than it is now. It is threatening world peace, plus the sanctions that have impacted banking and marine transport, among others.

“Since we in Africa have our own perspectives, we can share with them how we have solved our problems here.

“Africa has good credentials in solving disputes, like that of South Africa, Congo, Somalia, and many others. I, therefore, pledge our support and contribution to the peace process through dialogue between Russia and Ukraine,” he added.

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