Govt condemns violence in Syria

2012-07-19 22:25
South Africa deplores the continuing violence in Syria, which is spinning out of control, says Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Ebrahim Ebrahim. (File, GCIS)

South Africa deplores the continuing violence in Syria, which is spinning out of control, says Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Ebrahim Ebrahim. (File, GCIS)

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

Johannesburg - The South African government added its voice to the growing alarm over the conflict in Syria, ahead of a United Nations Security Council Meeting on the situation on Thursday.

"South Africa deplores the continuing violence in Syria, which is spinning out of control," said Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Ebrahim Ebrahim.

"Our highest priority is to stop the killing and end the suffering of innocent civilians," he said.

The meeting was supposed to have taken place on Wednesday but was postponed in a disagreement over what has been reported as a "West-East" disagreement over whether sanctions should be imposed.

South Africa had been calling for an immediate end to the violence and for talks to reach a Syrian-led transition reflecting the will of the Syrians.

"There is no military solution to the dispute. It is for this reason that South Africa strongly supports the tireless efforts of Mr Annan," he said referring to Joint Special Envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan.

Ebrahim said the bomb in the capital Damascus on Wednesday, which killed senior government officials including defence minister Daoud Rajha, and "the many horrific massacres" of the past few weeks show there were two sides to the conflict.

Agence France Presse reported Syrian media as saying on Wednesday that President Bashar Assad's brother-in-law Assef Shawkat and General Hassan Turkmani, head of the government's crisis cell on the uprising, were also killed.

Ebrahim said the International Committee of the Red Cross/Crescent had classified the situation as being an internal armed conflict, or in layman's terms, a civil war. Such classifications were a clear indication that the situation had reached a threshold of a civil war in which all parties had responsibilities and obligations under international humanitarian law.

"The international community must urgently respond to the escalating violence in Syria in a stern and balanced manner, based on the realities on the ground," continued Ebrahim.

Balanced decision

The Security Council should "express strong and unified support for Mr Annan and to call on all parties to cease the violence immediately".

He said the UN Charter determines that the Security Council should make proposals for conflict resolution and address failures of implementation with its decisions, without prejudice to the rights of the parties concerned.

"South Africa will therefore support any decision of the Security Council that is balanced and geared towards supporting Mr Annan's call for all sides in the conflict to adhere to their commitments under his six point plan."

A UN communiqué said that the crisis had "continued unabated" since an uprising against Assad began about 16 months ago.

The UN estimated that over 10 000 people, mostly civilians, had been killed there and tens of thousands displaced.

The UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) had also recently suspended its regular patrols due to the escalating violence on the ground.

Its mandate ends on 20 July and Thursday's discussions were expected to also decide whether to extend the mandate.

South Africa supported the extension of the mandate, Ebrahim said.

The six point plan that Annan proposed and hoped Syria would accept included that they commit to work with the envoy, that they stop the fighting, stop troop movements in populated areas, start pulling troops out of these areas, allow freedom of movement in the country for journalists, and respect the people's right to demonstrate peacefully.

It also calls for the release of arbitrarily detained prisoners and a list of where they are, and for the provision of humanitarian assistance.

These commitments would also be sought by the envoy, from the opposition, and all relevant elements, to stop the fighting.

- SAPA
Read more on:    kofi annan  |  bashar assad  |  ebrahim ebrahim  |  sa  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings
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
41 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy 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

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...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.