Seven African Presidents are heading to Europe to mediate in the Russia-Ukraine War, which has global implications.
The African Peace Initiative aims to stop hostilities and includes President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisis of Egypt, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, President Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo Brazzaville, and President Azali Assoumani of Comoros.
The African leaders will begin their visit to Ukraine and then proceed to Russia. They will hold talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Friday and later meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg.
Zambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Stanley Kakubo, stated that the African Peace Initiative draws upon Africa’s successful track record of resolving conflicts through dialogue and aims to encourage open negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.
The African Peace Initiative draws upon Africa’s successful track record of resolving conflicts through dialogue and peace-building, with the African leaders aiming to encourage open dialogue and negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.
– Mr. Kakubo.
The African leaders on the trip are particularly concerned about the disruption of global supply chains caused by the Russia-Ukraine war.
This conflict has had a negative impact on the supply of essential commodities such as grains, oil, and gas to the African continent.
President Ramaphosa of South Africa, who is closest to Moscow, is reportedly leading the delegation. South Africa has not condemned Russia for the invasion of Ukraine and is facing a diplomatic row over President Putin’s attendance at the upcoming BRICS summit.
The Southern African Center for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) expressed hope that the efforts of African Presidents will yield positive results, acknowledging their acceptance as legitimate peace brokers by Ukraine and Russia.
The fact that the 7 countries have been accepted by both Ukraine and Russia as legitimate peace brokers must give confidence to all of us that there is a possibility for success. We commend the leaders of the 7 countries for being bold and wish them all the very best in undertaking this important peace-building effort for the entire world.
– SACCORD Executive Director, Boniface Cheembe.
A researcher at the University of Zambia, Nalukui Milapo, believes the African leaders have a chance to prevail over Putin due to historical warm relations and educational and military support from Russia. However, she also acknowledges that the outcome remains uncertain.
It is worth noting that African countries have varied positions on the war, as evidenced by their voting on the United Nations resolution.
The African leaders’ engagement in Europe raises questions about their effectiveness in bringing peace to conflicts in the Central African Republic, Sudan, and Somalia within their own region.