By: Sivuyile S. Sesi
In our 19 years of democracy in South Africa with our international ties to assert ourselves as emerging power let's allow the Syrian crises be of good lesson to us.
The two nations, United States (US) and Russia on their way to come up with what needs to happen to solve the crises in Syria are shutting down creativity and clever approaches on the matter. They marching on the line of evident reality and their will is to keep each other tact of international law. Its not easy for one country to outsmart another.
The two nations minds is made up about the situation in Syria. They on agreeing to disagree and their engagement against each other is to defend their ways or commitments. Russia is unshaken allie of President Bashar al-Assad regime arguing that they innocent of the chemical attack and America believes that Syria is not innocent and they must surrender all their chemical weapons. If not the US is open for military action against Syria to prevent further use of such weapons. For President Vladimir Putin, it provides for management of the Syrian crisis back to the United Nations (UN). For President Barrack Obama, it tackles the dilemma made by the Congress's reluctance to support military attacks that he was preparing without a UN mandate.
US have appearing to be the champion in taking initiative for global equality and leader of global morality. For the decision between US and Russia for Syria to hand over its chemical weapons and allow for the inspection of them in both the Assad regime and the rebels is appraisable as it will or has
a chance to indicate to the UN Security Council with its divided member countries to know the direction where the chemical weapons come from. The US and France examined the matter and concluded that Assad regime is responsible. The UN just inspected the use of chemical weapons and it confirmed that they were used. Inspection for now was only about whether they were used not who used them. The truth for who used them is likely to show up with the UN inspection and with this US-Russia proposal of 14 September. With that joint decisions will be taken. The war crises is to get necessary attention and cooperation, there will be more peace as now the two names don't back down. With Putin backing Assad regime and as the US secretary of state, John Kerry stating that Obama retained the right to attack, with or without UN backing. IOL says "If Syria reneges on a commitment to comply, Washington and Moscow pledged to cooperate at the United Nations to impose penalties - though these remain to be determined and Russia is highly unlikely to support military action, which US President Barack Obama has said must remain an option."
The Assad regime and the rebels if they are not inspected and handover their chemical weapons and with the war continuing there is a great threat that they will be used again. For the US delaying military attack it is important for the war to be controlled. As even the rebels are already pointing out that this proposal will not solve end the war which is in its third year now. IOL states The residents and opposition activists, questioned the deal, and said it would not benefit normal Syrians. The people want a say about the direction their country is taking. “The regime has been killing people for more than two years with all types of weapons. Assad has used chemical weapons six or seven times. The killing will continue. No change will happen. That is it,” said an opposition activist in a rebel-held suburb of Damascus who uses the name Tariq al-Dimashqi. “The most important point is the act of killing, no matter what is the weapon,” he said." But with the UN clear on findings there will be joint undertaking in tackling the whole war in Syria. It will be easy for it cooperate.
Kerry told a joint news conference in Geneva: “The implementation of this framework, which will require the vigilance and the investment of the international community, and full accountability of the Assad regime, presents a hard road ahead.” The framework agreement – which one US official described as having been worked out in “hard fought” negotiations with Russia - states that a UN Security Council
resolution should allow for regular assessments of Syria's compliance and “in the event of non compliance, including unauthorized transfer, or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in Syria, the UN Security Council should impose measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter”. Chapter VII can include military force but can be limited to other kinds of sanction. Russia and the United States continue to have different views on what level of punishment to apply. When Kerry said during the news conference that the text stated that the Council “must” impose measures under Chapter VII, Lavrov interrupted to point out that it says only it “should” impose measures. “There's no diminution of options,” Kerry said, noting Obama's right under US law to order military action, with or without support from Congress or any international body.
What happened on 14 September is very important. It is not sleeping on the responsibilities. Ensuring that one country at a time at every available opportunity, especially when it has presented itself for our attention to be the time to address the matter of chemical weapons. That is a big step, showing leadership of the two states on global commitment of world free of chemical weapons for the safety and security of us and of future generations. For the US leadership, showing concern on the matter when still on initial stage presented itself, which about 1400 people in Syria died as being enough reason to push for the decision of 14 September is appraisable as its ensuring that there won't be next tragic time. There is also a need to discourage the supply of arms in Syria, for peace. In that to also allow humanitarian intervention.
Russia is with SA in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) this platform should also be our channel for global good. As SA is in BRICS and US is a huge investor with us including China and France having business interests, we should be concerned and vocal about people dying in Syria. Next time it will happen to us. We should ensure that our children won't see opportunity to be war mongers with our international associations. This is to guide the after effect so when they realize as we rise in power with such countries as emerging powers it is when we should shine the light of peace, keeping the vision of leaders like Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, FW De Klerk, etc and carry on on the right direction.
UN chemical investigators led by Ake Sellstrom of Sweden confirmed on Monday the use of sarin nerve agent in the attack outside the Syrian capital in a long-awaited report that the United States, Britain and France said proved President Bashar al-Assad's forces were responsible. So now its confirmed by the UN. UN tested on its own than just using the US findings.
For SA it should see BRICS as on check and may it please learn responsibly from this. With BRICS alliance our government must be careful of its ties. We don't want them to commit us on what is not in our favor to remain in peace with a good democracy. As our soldiers have already died in the Democratic Republic of Congo, for the attempt to build alliance we can't afford more of such incidences. Our government leaders must not try to shine themselves with the friends at our expense. SA must not have commitments as in with Russia and Syria, where it has to do with arms and war backing. We need to concentrate on peace support and improvement of this country to better our lives.
IOL states "The UN defence of the report came as envoys from Russia, the United States, Britain, France and China met again on a draft resolution that would demand the destruction of Syria's chemical arms in line with a recently agreed US-Russian deal."
With this US-Russia deal and UN cooperation the world including SA has moved closer to peace and safety. There is still more work to be done as the war is still not over in Syria. The world still need to take a step for peace and justice as the people are dying. The best that SA can do in this situation is to observe and draw positive strength so that it can be able to take the right steps for a more peaceful world. In this way when we engage in our international commitments we will be able to take moral standing in solving situation like in Syria even when it happen to us.
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