Ramaphosa says six African nations plan Russia-Ukraine talks

By Laureen Fagan - 16 May 2023 at 6:12 pm
Ramaphosa says six African nations plan Russia-Ukraine talks

A delegation of African leaders plans a peace mission with Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine, according to South African President Cyril Ramphosa.

The delegation will include six African nations: Zambia, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Egypt, in addition to South Africa, Ramaphosa said. He briefly sketched out details of the plan during a Tuesday press briefing alongside Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was in Cape Town as part of a diplomatic visit.

“Principal to our discussions are efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the devastating conflict in the Ukraine, its cost in human lives and impact on the African continent,” said Ramaphosa, who spoke with both the Russian and Ukrainian leaders by telephone.

He also spoke with United Nations chief António Guterres, who he said welcomed the plan, as well as Lee. “We discussed the current instability in international relations and the global economy,” Ramaphosa said. “We agreed on the need for all countries to work together to develop inclusive, just and sustainable solutions to conflict, climate change, pandemics and other challenges.”

No date for the peace mission was released as yet.

The African diplomacy plan follows allegations from the United States that South Africa is shipping arms to the Russian side. The announcement also comes after more than a year of fighting in Ukraine, during which most African nations have maintained a neutral political posture.

South Africa abstained from voting on a U.N. resolution that called on Russia to withdraw at the outset of the conflict, though Egypt and Zambia were among African nations to support it. African leaders have since appealed for an end to the crisis, which has brought significant economic and humanitarian impacts to a number of African nations.

Image: South African Presidency

Laureen Fagan

Laureen Fagan

Laureen is the editor of Africa Times

Laureen is a freelance journalist creating high-quality, informed content on international affairs, politics and technology. She has worked both in and out of newsrooms since 2000. She is a former paramedic with significant experience in community resilience and nonprofit community development initiatives, and maintains "a passion for action" on sustainability and climate change. She also is trained in conflict resolution and diversity, and has special interests in science and medical reporting, and culture and religion issues. Laureen received her MSJ from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in the United States, and completed additional graduate study in theology at University of Notre Dame. Follow Laureen on Mastodon at @laureen@m.ai6yr.org

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