African peace mission for Russian-Ukrainian conflict to start ‘mid June’

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African leaders seeking to broker peace in the Ukraine war are set to launch their mission “in mid June,” South Africa said Tuesday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa last month said Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had each agreed to receive a six-member African peace team.

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The African leaders, meeting on Monday, “agreed that they would engage” Putin and Zelenskyy “on the elements for a ceasefire and a lasting peace in the region,” a statement from Ramaphosa’s office said.

“The presidents confirmed their availability to travel to Ukraine and Russia in mid June,” it said.

The statement did not give a specific date or itinerary.

Foreign ministers from the respective countries will “finalize the elements of a road-map to peace,” the presidency said.

The delegation unveiled by Ramaphosa last month comprises the presidents of the Republic of Congo, Egypt, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.

Monday’s virtual meeting was also attended by Comoros President Azali Assoumani as current head of the African Union (AU).

African countries have been badly hit by rising prices of grain and the war’s impact on world trade.

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