Give UN a chance on Syria - Ebrahim

2013-09-06 17:35
Ebrahim Ebrahim (Picture: GCIS)

Ebrahim Ebrahim (Picture: GCIS)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - UN inspectors dispatched to Syria must be given the opportunity to conclude their assessment on the use of chemical weapons, Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim said on Friday.

A military intervention in the strife-torn nation would only aggravate the humanitarian situation, Ebrahim told reporters in Pretoria.

"The way forward is not to start bombing Syria, because [by doing that] you are not solving the problem but actually increasing it," he said.

"That would be extending the problem to the whole region. If you bomb Syria, you don’t know how other parties are going to react, the Hezbollah. We should work for a peaceful resolution to the crisis."

Asked what South Africa’s stance would be, if evidence proved that the regime of President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons, Ebrahim said the intensity of retribution should be decided by the UN.

"It [the punishment] has to be done in accordance with international law and it has to be approved by the UN Security Council. You have got to get the authorisation of the Security Council, that is a fundamental principle of international law.

"It’s a serious violation of international law if bombing takes place outside the Security Council. There is growing consensus building up in the international community [calling for] a peaceful resolution to this conflict, even among the American and the French," said Ebrahim.

Regarding Kenya’s decision to pull out of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ahead of the trial of key leaders of the Kenyan government, Ebrahim said South Africa supported the trials being held domestically.

"South Africa's position supports the AU [African Union] position which says if there is domestic capabilities to try them domestically, then that should be the course of action," he said.

"The AU decided that Kenya has primary jurisdiction on the case. Our position will be informed by the approach adopted by the Kenyan authorities and the accused."

Pulling out if the ICC

Kenyan lawmakers on Thursday backed a motion to pull out of the ICC, snubbing The Hague-based tribunal ahead of the trial of Vice President William Ruto scheduled for next week.

Parliament must now vote on a bill within 30 days to formalise steps for the actual withdrawal.

On Tuesday, the ICC trial of Ruto opens on three counts of crimes against humanity. He is accused of having organised 2007/08 post-election unrest, which killed at least 1 100 people and forced more than 600 000 people to flee their homes.

Ruto's case comes roughly two months before President Uhuru Kenyatta goes on trial on charges of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, persecution and deportation.

Both Kenyatta and Ruto have previously stated that they would co-operate with the court.

On Friday, Ebrahim said he was now unsure whether the two would attend the trials.

"We don't know exactly whether they are going to appear and we are going to just see what actually happens."

Kenya is the first country to hold such a vote to leave the world court.

Read more on:    un  |  au  |  icc  |  ebrahim ebrahim  |  uhuru kenyatta  |  william ruto  |  bashar assad  |  syria conflict

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
11 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.