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President Hichilema returns from Peace mission in Russia and Ukraine

President Hichilema and the 6 other African leaders concluded their peace mission on Saturday following engagements with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin

In a significant and unprecedented diplomatic effort, the African leaders expressed their profound gratitude to the Presidents and peoples of Russia and Ukraine for granting them the opportunity to gain firsthand insight into the ongoing war between the two nations. This historic peace mission marks a milestone as it is the first time African leaders have ventured to the European Continent with the aim of advocating for a peaceful resolution to a conflict.

The delegation firmly believe that instability in any part of the world affects stability everywhere, emphasizing the urgent need for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Russia and Ukraine. The war has had devastating consequences, including food insecurity in Africa, loss of life, destruction of property, and forced displacement of individuals, impacting both nations and the broader global economy.

The African leaders, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, engaged in constructive discussions with the heads of state of Russia and Ukraine during their peace mission. The leaders implored the two countries to swiftly engage in negotiations and bring an end to the hostilities, highlighting that history has shown that no war should endure indefinitely.

President Cyril Ramaphosa described the mission as a success, acknowledging the willingness of both the Russian and Ukrainian presidents to listen to African leaders regarding the impact of the ongoing war. While the trip itself may not immediately resolve the conflict, President Ramaphosa expressed hope that the proposals put forward by the African leaders would be seriously considered.

Among the proposals, the African leaders emphasized the urgent need for humanitarian assistance to reach the suffering population affected by the war. They also stressed the importance of the release of prisoners of war and the safe return of children who were taken out of Ukraine.