President of the Republic of Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema, was on an official visit to Ukraine and the Russian Federation recently. During this visit the President met with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, and, subsequently, the President met Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg on 17th June, 2023. These meetings were part of the African Peace Initiative focused on addressing the situation between Russia and Ukraine.
President Hichilema joined six other African Heads of State and Government from the following countries Comoros, Congo Brazzaville, Egypt, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda to participate in this significant initiative. The African Peace Initiative draws upon Africa’s successful track record of resolving conflicts through dialogue and peace-building, with the African leaders aiming to encourage open dialogue and negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.
Zambia remains deeply committed to global peace as a catalyst for socio-economic development in Africa and the world at large, underscoring its decision to join this initiative.
The far-reaching consequences of the conflict, including disruptions to Africa’s commodity supply chains, extend beyond the humanitarian crisis. Recognizing these implications, President Hichilema and the New Dawn Administration actively advocate for peace, security, and stability worldwide. By embracing this initiative, Zambia seeks to create an environment conducive to economic and social prosperity.
While expressing concern and urgency to resolve the prolonged Russia-Ukraine conflict, the President cites equally pressing and growing security and humanitarian challenges in the region, brought on particularly by the fighting in Sudan, as well as the continuing tension elsewhere on the continent. These conflicts have taken a devastating toll on African communities, resulting in the loss of life, and food insecurity, due to the rising costs of grain and fertilizer both in Africa, broadly, and acutely so for Zambia.
President Hichilema underscores the importance of upholding fundamental principles of territorial integrity, inviolability of borders, and peaceful dispute settlement, as outlined by the African Union Constitutive Act and the United Nations Charter. Consequently, the President will urgently be engaging with his African counterparts across the continent to facilitate dialogue among the warring factions in identified parts of Africa, while urging the global community to explore all possible avenues to end the devastating conflict in Ukraine.
Leveraging its established leadership in conflict mitigation and the promotion of peace and stability within the region and beyond, Zambia embraces its role in this essential continental initiative with a sense of pride and honor.