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African leaders visit Ukrainian town of Bucha

Africain leaders attend a commemoration ceremony at a site of a mass grave in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, June 16, 2023   -  
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Efrem Lukatsky/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved


African leaders including South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa and Senegal's president, Macky Sall, participated on Friday in a visit to the Ukrainian town of Bucha, the site of one of the biggest massacres of civilians by Russian forces in the conflict.

African leaders laid commemorative candles at a small memorial outside the church.

“We pray to God that things will be stabilized and of course you return to your normal life”, said Egyptian Prime Minister, Moustafa Madbouly.

In March last year hundreds of civilians were rounded up and shot, gunned down by snipers and otherwise slaughtered in the town on the north-western outskirts of Kyiv.

The leaders visited a photo exhibition showing grisly images of bodies that were found lying in the streets after the Russians left.

“Life is universal, and we must protect lives – Ukrainian lives, Russian lives, global lives. That’s important. So protect lives, and focus on development", added Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema.

The visit is part of an African diplomatic mission to Ukraine and Russia to try to ensure exports of Russian fertilizer and grain do not stop.

Last year, Turkey and the UN brokered a deal with Russia and Ukraine to allow a demilitarized corridor in the Black Sea.

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