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Ramaphosa: African Peace Initiative on Russia-Ukraine conflict ‘bearing fruit’

Ramaphosa: African Peace Initiative on Russia-Ukraine conflict ‘bearing fruit’
From left: Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Andrzej Lange) | South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Following a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa’s peace efforts regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were bearing fruit.

President Cyril Ramaphosa met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday and they discussed the African Peace Initiative and the Black Sea Grain Initiative amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Addressing the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Ramaphosa said South Africa valued “the importance of engaging all parties to conflicts to achieve peaceful, just and enduring resolutions”.

“It is these principles that inform South Africa’s participation in the African Peace Initiative, which seeks a peaceful resolution of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“Our participation in the African Peace Initiative is informed by a desire to see an end to the suffering of those most directly affected by the conflict and the millions on our continent and across the world who, as a result of the conflict, are now vulnerable to worsening hunger and deprivation,” Ramaphosa said.

“As we engaged with the parties in this conflict, as African leaders, one of the issues we raised was that there should be confidence-building measures that could create a sense of [confidence] towards the resolution of this conflict. In this regard, we said issues such as the children who were removed from Ukraine should be returned. We also said that the prisoners of war should be exchanged between the two countries.  

“I have just held a meeting with President Zelensky, who says that, in part, some of our efforts are bearing fruit as children are now being returned and prisoners are being exchanged. But then we said we need to see this happening at a much faster pace,” Ramaphosa said.  

“In this conflict, as in all conflicts, we have insisted that the UN Charter’s principle of respect for the territorial integrity of every country should be upheld.”

During their meeting, Ramaphosa and Zelensky are reported to have discussed the “peace formula” proposed by Ukraine as well as the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

In June, Ramaphosa led the African Peace Initiative that included a delegation of leaders from Comoros, Congo-Brazzaville, Egypt, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia to engage with Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the war in Ukraine.

In August, Ramaphosa’s national security adviser, Sydney Mufamadi, attended international talks on a “peace formula” proposed by Zelensky in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, following which Ukraine’s government said South Africa could make an “effective contribution” towards securing the release of prisoners and food stability.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Ukraine welcomes SA’s contribution to its peace initiative after Jeddah talks

According to The Odessa Journal, on Tuesday Zelensky told Ramaphosa, “We are extremely grateful that the platform of our peace formula has actually started working.”

Regarding the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the deal under which Russia lifted its blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports to enable Ukrainian grain to be shipped to world markets, Zelensky was reported to have said on Tuesday: “We are not waiting, we are continuing the Black Sea Grain Initiative and trying alternative routes. Several ships with grain have already successfully passed through these routes despite the difficult situation.”

Read more in Daily Maverick: Putin rejects Ramaphosa’s appeal to reinstate Black Sea Grain Initiative

Russia has refused to extend the grain deal, seen as crucial to ensuring global food security. Justifying cancelling the deal in July, Putin falsely claimed that sanctions against its exports of food and fertiliser had not been lifted.

South Africa has been under significant pressure from Ukraine’s allies such as the US to justify its supposed “non-aligned” stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine following repeated moves that suggest Pretoria is backing Moscow. DM

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  • Louise Louise says:

    I don’t advocate for war or for invasions. I don’t side with Russia or Ukraine. I’m a humanitarian who believes that war is just evil and only benefits the bankers and the land grabbers. It’s time for the world to wake up to the evil that is the US government because it is they who are pushing this proxy war on Russia. Russia was not encroaching on the US territory but NATO continued to expand its reach, getting every closer to Russia. Putin warned NATO to stay away but NATO did not heed the warning. So whilst I don’t support war, I can comprehend why Putin said “enough” and then went into Ukraine (which is actually still legally part of Russia).

    It’s incredible to watch the corporate media and the ridiculous lies they spin regarding how well Ukraine is doing and how badly Russia is doing. It’s just totally laughable. One of the best sources to listen to is retired Col Douglas MacGregor (USA). He’s impartial, honest and gives a detailed analysis of what is known, unknown and the prospects for either side. There are several YouTube channels where he appears. He’s well worth looking up.

    • René Naegeli says:

      I don’t know where you get this „which is actually still legally part of Russland“ from. But there is never a justification for invading another country, terrorizing and killing its inhabitants and deporting its children. Never !

      • Louise Louise says:

        If you look in your history books, Ukraine is not a sovereign country. Be that as it may, I did NOT say there was “justification for invading another country”. I absolutely and 100% agree with you that there never IS a justification! What I said was that I understood WHY Putin invaded Ukraine, not that I condoned it.

    • Johan Buys says:

      Louise : you have clearly swallowed the propoganda pills!

      1. Ukraine voted 90% in a 90% turnout referendum NOT to be part of mother russia.

      2. Ukraine did NOT join Nato, they’ll probably join after russia withdraws. If Ukraine had joined Nato, putin would not have dared fire a bullet at Ukraine.

      3. Belarus actually joined the CSTO (putin’s version of Nato) and thereby extended CSTO directly to border with Nato’s Poland.

      4. Rather read objective / fact-based assessment of casualties than waste time on social media like youtube. I can find you videos of UFO and flat earth believers and moon-landing deniers on youtube if you like fake news.

    • Denise Smit says:

      Louise , you are a sucker for disinformation on You Tube and social media. Once they find you, its easy to get convinced by the Russian disinformation drive. So the whole of the Western world is wrong and Russia and you are right. Or are you their paid spokesperson in SA. Denise Smit

      • Louise Louise says:

        I note that you did not offer an alternative opinion/facts? I don’t listen to anything Russian (I don’t speak the language anyways!) but I do listen to Col Douglas MacGregor and investigative journalists who give a balanced viewpoint on the terrible situation. As I stated, I don’t support either side and I have no ‘dog in the fight’ as it were, except to express extreme sadness that the conflict is killing hundreds of thousands of people. I don’t trust anything that the corporate media publishes, until it has been verified by other sources. If you still want to trust the likes of Sky, CNN, BBC, SABC etc, that’s your prerogative. But I’ve seen too much of their lies to trust them.

    • John Smythe says:

      Wow! You should do a little more homework, Louise Louise. Ukraine belongs to Russia? Ukraine broke away from Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Putin is a communist soviet and wants it back because of money. Nothing more. Nothing less. It’s breadbasket that will bring lots of money into Russia. Putin has shown his hand by re-imposing the Black Sea blockade and his to honour the agreement. He is no better than other communist leaders who have happily murdered hundreds of thousands of people just to “get back” what he thinks should still be a part of Russia. Is his next step to invade the other ex-USSR countries because “it belongs to Russia”? Please! Don’t justify the millions of lives this invasion has affected in the name of a country “belonging to Russia”. No country has forced Russia to go to war! NATO or not. Russian leaders are murders!

    • Johan D says:

      Louise you are either a misinformation agent yourself or you are extremely succeptible to misinformation.

      I am not sure what the US has to do with any of this. Russia invaded Ukraine which is an independent country by ANY metric. It never was – even during soviet times Ukraine was a seperate state in the USSR. Not part of Russia.

      Tanks drove across the border from Russia and started killing Ukrainians including civilians. Russian missiles targets Ukrainian civilians and civilian infrastructure. Ukrainian Children are abducted to Russia. These are all undisputed facts. There are an overwhelming amount of evidence.

      But it is easy to see which side promotes truth and which lies. Just look at who has the most restrictions on journalists…

      • Louise Louise says:

        Johan, just because I hold a different opinion from you doesn’t mean that either a) I’m a “misinformation agent” or b) that I’m susceptible to “misinformation”. Are you completely unaware that the USA plus some members of NATO, including the British, are funding Ukraine to the tune of billions of US Dollars? The US is fighting a proxy war against Russia. As I said in my post, if someone wants to get a balance viewpoint of the terrible situation, they would do well to listen to Col Douglas MacGregor. There are others but he’s by far the most credible. Scott Ritter is another possible source. If you listen/watch the likes of CNN, Sky, BBC etc you won’t get balanced opinions or facts. Indeed, if you go back 10 years you will see that the corporate media absolutely SLATED Ukraine for harbouring human trafficking rings, drug rings, money laundering and much more. Hunter Biden being one of the culprits. This goes much deeper than Putin wanting to invade Ukraine. He wants to keep NATO from his border. Imagine if Russia or China built military bases on the border of the USA? What would the USA do I wonder?

        • Tim Price says:

          You’re sprouting your own version of “opinionated facts” of course, but don’t let that stop you. A proxy war doesn’t justify or excuse Putin or is murderous regime’s behaviour. Wars are proxy wars where one or both of the protagonists are assisted by other countries. Iran is waging a proxy war against the US by helping Putin kill civilians. The list is endless. Perhaps go and live in Russia and absorb some of their state run media if you want to see what real bias and the absence of factual reporting is. Do you also support Trump?

          • Louise Louise says:

            You’ll note from my posts that I try to refrain from getting personal. I don’t assume anything about you or anyone else on this thread. I state my case and why and then respect others’ views. I didn’t say that a proxy war justifies anything and I have stated I do not support either side. I don’t know how much more clear I can make this statement? Your question about Trump again shows you are attacking ME, rather than dealing with the issues. And this speaks to your own bias about people who hold different opinions from yourself. Whether or not I support Trump (I don’t) is irrelevant. What IS relevant is the truth about the current awful conflict. Ukraine is running out of ‘boots on the ground’, hence they are trying to recruit and bring back fighting-age men from Europe. On the other hand, Russia has roughly 300,000 troops available and seems to be pretty self-sufficient when it comes to arms, tanks etc. My question is always : when will this end and when will the two sides come together to broker peace? What signs do we see that this is possible? Or is this just another perpetual war to make the arms dealers rich and keep the “great unwashed” occupied whilst other nefarious activities take place? Is this similar to the perpetual war in 1984 between Oceania and Eurasia?

            One thing cannot be denied : the USA is the world’s biggest bully and has invaded and destroyed many countries in the name of “democracy”. And now it seems Western Africa is in their sights…

        • Christian Pirk says:

          Dear Louise you are not having another opinion you are spreading facts/ news which a) makes you an “misinformation agent” or b) that your susceptible to “misinformation”.
          I go with a)
          How can it be a proxy war if Russia attacked a full member of the United Nation, violating everything in the UN Charta.
          Does the majority of countries support the Ukraine, yes.
          It is the humanitarian way to support a victim of violence and again here the facts are pretty straight forward: Russia attacked Ukraine. Russia started an illegal war, Ukraine is just acting in self defence. So Louise please let me know what other balance opinions or fact are there.

          FYI: Putin did an excellent job keeping NATO away from its border, brilliant plan to attack Ukraine and convince Finland and Sweden to re-think their decades of neutrality and join NATO (Irony off)

    • Colin Braude says:

      “Macgregor regularly contributes to Fox News* and has appeared on the Russian state-funded channel RT*.”
      “Macgregor was one of five finalists under consideration for selection as President Trump*’s National Security Advisor”
      —Wikipedia
      * pro-Putin
      “After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Macgregor appeared on three Fox News programs in February and early March to speak in support of Russia’s actions. Three days after the war began, he said “The battle in eastern Ukraine is really almost over,” and predicted “If [Ukraine] don’t surrender in the next 24 hours, I suspect Russia will ultimately annihilate them.” Macgregor said he believed Russia should be allowed to seize whatever parts of Ukraine it wanted. In his second appearance, he revised his prediction: “The first five days Russian forces I think frankly were too gentle. They’ve now corrected that. So, I would say another 10 days this should be completely over… I think the most heroic thing he could do right now is come to terms with reality. Neutralize Ukraine.” After one of his appearances, Macgregor’s comments were characterized by veteran Fox News Pentagon correspondent Jennifer Griffin as “distorting” and “appeasement” and that he was being an “apologist” for Putin.”

      So much for “impartial, honest … detailed analysis”

      The last time a psychopath launched a genocidal lebensraum invasion in central Europe, the US supplied war-materiel under “lend lease”, leading to half a century of comparative peace

    • A B says:

      The same person spitting Russian propaganda also states on another DM article that man-made climate change is a hoax. I’m seeing a pattern here. Delusion, misguidance or plain stupidity?

  • Cornay Bester says:

    Putin would like it very much if Ramaphosa can freeze the war.
    Peace is stil a ruZZian fear.

  • John Parkes says:

    Perhaps Louise Louise should read Bill Browder’s books Red Alert and Freezing Order to get a clearer idea of Putin’s Russia.

  • Esskay Esskay says:

    Ramaphosa – give us some concrete examples of “bearing fruit” – our country is imploding – you should be finding “bearing fruit” solutions here instead of posturing on the world stage. You are making fool of yourself and our country. Stop your neutral “support” of Russia and the other rogue states. Look for support from the prosperous and winning nations.

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