Explosions have rocked the Ukrainian capital on Friday as African leaders arrived in Kyiv on Friday for a peace mission.
The delegation includes leaders from Zambia, Egypt’s Prime Minister and the Comoros, Cyril Ramaphosa who are to meet with the Ukrainian President.
The purpose of the meeting is “to encourage the parties to agree to a diplomacy-led process of negotiations,” but also talks to highlight the adverse effect of the war “on African economies and livelihoods” as vital grain is not being allowed to leave Ukraine.
The peace document lists measures which could be proposed that includes suspending the arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin that was issued by the International Criminal Court.
Also, to pull back Russian troops and remove the tactical nuclear weapons from Belarus.
The peace document says, “The above-mentioned measures should aim to facilitate the creation of an environment conducive for a ceasefire, and that will allow the parties to build trust and to consider formulating their peace restoration strategies.”
[ARRIVAL]: His Excellency President @CyrilRamaphosa has arrived at Nemishaeve Railway Station in Ukraine and is received by Ukraine's Special Envoy for Africa & the Middle East Ambassador Maksym Subhk and South African Ambassador to Ukraine Mr Andre Groenewald.… pic.twitter.com/Jk8V8n2v9O
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) June 16, 2023
A Reuters correspondent who is in Kyiv said that they saw two missiles flying through the air, although it was not clear if they were air defence rockets or Russian missiles.
Reuters reported that the African leaders were rushed into bomb shelters for their safety who are also due to meet with Vladimir Putin on Saturday.
A spokesperson for the president of South Africa said the peace “mission is proceeding well and as planned” despite the attacks on Kyiv.
Vincent Magwenya said, “The president arrived here safely in Kyiv alongside other heads of state and government.”
He then said that journalists have been kept on a plane in Poland overnight in Poland saying that there has been a “hitch.”
He added, “Notwithstanding the hitches that have been experienced in Poland with the charter flight that carried the PPS team and the media, the rest of the mission is proceeding well and as planned.”
Magwenya said, “We are now awaiting the commencement of the talks with President Zelensky.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa visited Bucha on Friday morning where a massacre took place by Russian forces and he went to see a mass burial ground.
“This peace mission is the first time that Africa is united behind a resolution of a conflict outside of our continent.”
He added, “Africa has been severely impacted by this conflict in terms of food insecurity and the price of grain, the price of fertilizer, but equally this mission serves to seek a road to peace that will alleviate the suffering that is being experienced by people in Ukraine.”