UPDATE: President Ramaphosa arrives in Ukraine for African peace mission

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President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Friday.

The President, with three of his peers from the continent, is on an African Peace Mission to the conflict-ridden European country to meet with the Ukrainian President to broker peace.

The Presidents of Uganda, Congo-Brazzaville and Egypt sent representatives as part of the delegation.

Mediation efforts  

The peace mission could propose a series of “confidence-building measures” during initial efforts at mediation, according to a draft framework document seen by Reuters.

The document 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”.

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

A cessation of hostilities agreement could follow and would need to be accompanied by negotiations between Russia and the West, the document stated.

On Saturday, he will be in St Petersburg in Russia for talks with President Vladimir Putin.

African leaders have expressed their concerns about the adverse effect of the conflict on their economies.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres says he’s encouraged by efforts by African leaders towards peace in Ukraine. He was responding to a question on the efforts by Ramaphosa and several other African heads of state who are currently travelling to Ukraine and then on to Russia for engagements with Zelenskyy in Kyiv followed by a visit with President Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg at the weekend.

“I had the opportunity to have from President Ramaphosa a description of the efforts that were going to be made. And of course, I always encourage all efforts related to peace. It’s not for me to define what they will achieve. I think it’s important to underline that this is an important initiative based on the goodwill of a number of meaningful countries.”


The South African Police, accompanying President Ramaphosa to Ukraine, have assured the nation of his safety. This comes after Polish authority threatened to confiscate weapons of the South African security team if they offload them from the containers.

The Head of the President’s Security team in Ukraine General Wally Roode says despite being denied to go through with their weapons, the President is safe.

-Additional reporting by Reuters