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War in Ukraine: African Union chair Macky Sall urges ceasefire

On the 14th day of the Russia-Ukraine war, the Senegalese president and current chairman of the African Union (AU) tried to convince his counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday to stop the bombing. File Photo.

On the 14th day of the Russia-Ukraine war, the Senegalese president and current chairman of the African Union (AU) tried to convince his counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday to stop the bombing. File Photo.

Published Mar 9, 2022

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Dakar - On the 14th day of the Russia-Ukraine war, the Senegalese president and current chairman of the African Union (AU) tried to convince his counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday to stop the bombing.

What if African mediation was successful in this global crisis?

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Even if the weight and leadership of the continent are often underestimated to change the course of history, new leaders like Macky Sall are trying to play their part.

And now that world peace is threatened by this war in Europe, Africa through the voice of the Senegalese head of state is trying to come to the rescue.

“I am delighted with my meeting this morning with President Putin in my capacity as chairman of the African Union to call for a lasting ceasefire in Ukraine. I welcome his listening and his willingness to maintain dialogue for a negotiated outcome of the conflict,” President Sall tweeted.

This is not Sall's first statement on this crisis that has already caused hundreds of deaths and more than two million refugees including African citizens.

With the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Chadian Moussa Faki Mahamat, he recently deplored the “unacceptable” attitude towards African nationals, victims of “ill-treatment,” when they wanted to flee Ukraine.

The two presidents then urged “all countries to respect international law and to show the same empathy and support to all people fleeing war, regardless of their racial identity.”

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Non-alignment

At the last cabinet meeting, Sall also expressed “his grave concern about the situation in Ukraine,” while reaffirming Senegal’s adherence to the principles of non-alignment and the peaceful settlement of disputes.

His position on this issue is in the spirit of the two communiqués issued in his capacity as current chairman of the African Union, he said.

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By launching a military operation against Ukraine on February 24, after weeks of tension between the two countries, Russia said it was asserting its right to self-defence, provided for in Article 51 of the UN Charter.

President Putin cited “suffering” in the separatist region of Donbass as a reason to invade that country.

A former member of the Soviet Union, Ukraine wants to join the military force of Western countries (Nato) and the European Union (EU).

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Despite the capture of several cities and strategic areas, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his men are still putting up strong resistance to Russian troops now in the capital Kiev.

In a recent meeting with his French counterpart, Putin told Macron that he would continue his action “without compromise” until his goals are achieved.

He also said that his demands on Kiev could increase.

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