Mediation mission of six African leaders in Russia and Ukraine

Ukraine Russia map
Graphics: Free Press. - Ivan Samardziev

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has informed his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping about the upcoming mediation mission of six African leaders to Russia and Ukraine, the South African presidency announced today.

In May, Ramaphosa said the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky, had agreed to host the peacekeeping mission. That delegation is ready to visit both countries in mid-June.

As the South African presidency said, Xi welcomed "the initiative of the African continent and recognized the impact that the conflict in Ukraine has on human lives and food security in Africa."

African countries have been hit hard by rising grain prices since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a major exporter of wheat and other agricultural products. Africa is also affected by the war's wider impact on world trade.

The African delegation will include the presidents of Congo-Brazzaville (Republic of Congo), Egypt, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.

The mediation and peacekeeping mission comes as South Africa tries to defend itself against accusations that, despite its declared neutrality in the conflict with Ukraine, it is siding with Russia.

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