African leaders have urged Russia and Ukraine to settle the war between them through negotiations and diplomatic means.
South Africa President, H.E Cyril Ramaphosa who led a delegation of African leaders to Ukraine yesterday, said the conflict is affecting Africa negatively and that there was a need to de-escalate it.
The leaders from seven African countries visited Kyiv, as part of a mission aimed at brokering peace between warring countries of Russia and Ukraine.
“In our view, it’s important to listen carefully to what both countries have to say. We are also going to listen to President Putin with regard to how he sees the road to peace. But we also take into cognizance of a number of other proposals that have been made by a number of other parties around the world and we do believe that this process for peace as much as it is complex, requires that all viewpoints must be put on the table,” President Ramaphosa told the media shortly after a closed-door peace mission meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv.
“This war must be settled and there should be peace through negotiations and diplomatic means, and we should advance towards that peace because all wars in the end do come to an end. And we believe that this war should be brought to an end as quickly as possible,” he added.
On his part, President Zelenskyy rejected the idea of peace talks with Russia, which he said would simply freeze the war in Ukraine.
“I clearly said several times at our meeting that to allow any negotiations with Russia now that the occupier is on our land is to freeze the war, to freeze pain and suffering,” Zelenskyy told the press.
“The only thing Russia is interested in is producing more missiles and committing more crimes against the UN Charter. Any negotiations are considered by the Russian leadership as the ability to gain more force and even to have more aggression against Ukraine,” he further stressed.
President Zelenskyy also extended invitations to African leaders to participate in a global peace formula summit.
“I saw the prospects of our work on specific points of the peace formula, and, certainly, I invited the African states to participate in the peace summit that we are preparing.”
In his speech to the Halifax International Security Forum on 19 November 2022, President Zelenskyy offered his view on what must be negotiated to end the war.
In what he labelled the “Ukrainian Peace Formula,”. He laid out ten issue areas that require resolution in order to secure a durable peace and to “make Russian aggression impossible”.
The other leaders who attended the mediation meeting include; the former Ugandan Prime Minister and Special Envoy, the Rt. Hon. Dr Ruhakana Rugunda who represented H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni- the President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E Macky Sall- the President of Senegal, H.E Azali Assoumani – President of Comoros who also doubles as the current Chair of African Union (AU), H.E Hichilema Hakainde- the President of Zambia, H.E Mostafa Madbouly- Prime minister of Egypt and a Special Envoy representing the President of Congo Brazzaville.
President Museveni was unable to travel to Ukraine due to Covid-19. He is currently in self-isolation at Nakasero State Lodge.
The leaders will now proceed to Russia to meet President Vladimir Putin over the same cause of discussing a potential peace plan to resolve the Conflict.
The war which has taken more than a year has fueled economic insecurity around the world.