African mission in Kiev and Moscow from June, according to Pretoria
A peace mission of six African leaders in Ukraine and Russia, announced by South African President Cyril Ramboza on Tuesday, will be implemented in early June, a foreign official announced on Wednesday.
Cyril Ramaphosa announced earlier in the day that Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky had “agreed to host and host African heads of state” from six countries (South Africa, Senegal, Zambia, Congo, Uganda and Egypt) in their respective capitals.
“The dates are yet to be confirmed, but in early June the six heads of state will travel between the two capitals to facilitate peace talks,” Jane Tangor, director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told a group of parliamentarians.
“We have also reached out to other actors, including the United States”, he added, adding that “this initiative is gaining public support” and particularly the UN.
Close to the Kremlin since the anti-apartheid era, South Africa has always refused to condemn the invasion of Ukraine, claiming to be “neutral” and preferring to support dialogue.
This African mission will allow Pretoria to reaffirm its neutrality, while many voices internationally and domestically criticize its stance of being too close to Moscow.