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African Peace Mission issues to be discussed again in July

President Cyril Ramaphosa at a podium in front of the South African flag.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. File Picture: Kopan o Tlape

Published Jun 20, 2023


Durban - Russian Ambassador to South Africa, Ilya Rogachev, said the issues raised by the recent African Peace Mission would continue to be discussed at the second Russia Africa summit to take place in St Petersburg in July.

A group led by President Cyril Ramaphosa and leaders from Egypt, Senegal, Zambia and the Comoros met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Russian President Vladimir Putin last week in a bid to negotiate an end to the war.

A ten-point framework document, which has not been made public and was presented to both presidents, states that the objective of the mission is to promote the importance of peace and to encourage the parties to agree to a diplomacy-led process of negotiations.

The document lists a number of measures that could be proposed by the African leaders as part of the first stage of their engagement with the warring parties.

Those measures could include a Russian troop pull-back, removal of tactical nuclear weapons from Belarus, suspension of the implementation of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant targeting Putin, and sanctions relief.

Rogachev said the exchange of opinions and views had already begun on some of the issues raised by the African mission.

“To the best of my knowledge, the plan is a preliminary outlay of how the Africans view the situation and how they would like to discuss it.

“In general, we welcome this initiative. We take it as a manifestation of a positive attitude,” he told the SABC.

“Some of the points made during the meeting dealt with the shortage of grains, fertiliser and energy supplies.”

Rogachev said energy markets had become jittery prior to the special military operation.

“As for grain and fertiliser deliveries, according to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, some 30 million tons of grain has been exported, but most of it went to markets of wealthy countries in Europe and others.”