DA: SA shouldn't be neutral on Syria

2012-07-20 21:00
Syrian soldiers (File, AFP)

Syrian soldiers (File, AFP)

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

Johannesburg - South Africa should move away from its neutral stance regarding the conflict in Syria, the DA said on Friday.

"While the death toll in Syria continues to rise, South Africa’s representatives in the UN Security Council have once again abstained from voting in support of decisive UN action in Syria," said Democratic Alliance international relations spokesperson Ian Davidson.

"Once again, the department of international relations and co-operation (Dirco) is allowing autocratic regimes with poor human rights records to dictate South Africa’s foreign policy," he said in a statement.

On Thursday, Russia and China vetoed a security council resolution to extend a United Nations observer mission in Syria for 45 days.

There were 11 votes in favour of the resolution in the 15-nation council.

South Africa and Pakistan abstained.

"The dream of a negotiated settlement will never be realised without more decisive initial steps to de-escalate the violence," said Davidson.

South Africa should not be caught on the wrong side of history, following its indecision on UN action in Libya, he said.

South Africa was losing credibility with western and Arab League nations as a country which believed in human rights and international order.

"Dirco fence-sitting raises questions about our capacity to make tough decisions which may offend some of our more dubious friends," said Davidson.

International Relations and Co-operation Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim said in Pretoria on Friday that South Africa had abstained from the vote because the resolution was "unbalanced".

"... It only targeted the Syrian government," Ebrahim told reporters.

"It said nothing about the opposition, who are now fighting in the capital [Damascus]," he said.

The rebel forces in Syria were not just defending themselves, but were on the offensive and wanted to take power, Ebrahim said.

The resolution also threatened Syrian authorities with sanctions if they did not stop using heavy weapons against the uprising, and withdraw troops from towns and cities.

Ebrahim said South Africa supported the extension of the deadline for the UN mission in Syria, but said the resolution should not have included the issue of sanctions.

The Russians were against this aspect of the resolution too, as they said it could open the door to military intervention.

South Africa is a non-permanent member of the UNSC.

In a communiqu on Syria, the UN said the crisis between the government and the opposition movement had "continued unabated" since an uprising against President Bashir Assad began about 16 months ago.

The UN estimated that more than 10 000 people, mostly civilians, had been killed in the fighting, and tens of thousands displaced.

- SAPA
Read more on:    da  |  un  |  ian davidson  |  ebrahim ebrahim  |  sa  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings  |  politics
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
134 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Africa
 

Hottie of the day: Charlotte

Meet our hottie of the day, Charlotte. She feels sexiest after a good workout at the gym!

 
 

Men24.com

This is why guys shouldn’t be in photos
BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike
Want to start talking dirty?
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Enjoy the view because as from tomorrow you are going to need to come back down to earth and join the party. In the meantime use...read more

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.