News24

SA: Syria resolution unbalanced

2012-07-20 15:36

Pretoria - South Africa abstained from voting on a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution on Syria because it was "unbalanced", Deputy International Relations and Co-operation Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim said on Friday.

"We abstained because we felt the resolution was unbalanced; it only targeted the Syrian government," Ebrahim told reporters in Pretoria.

"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.

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

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.

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

South Africa and Pakistan both abstained from voting.

Ebrahim said South Africa supported the extension of the deadline for the UN mission in Syria, but 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.

A UN communiqué on Syria said the crisis between the government and the opposition movement had "continued unabated" since an uprising against President Bashar Assad began about 16 months ago.

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

Comments
  • mark.richardson.3914207 - 2012-07-20 15:51

    Stop playing the centre ground in the hope that your begging bowl will be filled by china or russia , they dont care about africa . But anyway your fellow terrorist is still in power in Syria , if i recall SA vetoed a UN resolution for Libya and look what happened oh yea Zuma in his wisdom paid a dying visit to him to before he was dealt with like every good terrorist in power should be . Take a good look at the arab spring /summer . ANC you could be next.

      peter.jeffrey.581 - 2012-07-20 16:11

      ANC will be next* there i fixed it :)

      oomkrummel.krummel - 2012-07-22 13:53

      Gerhard,-I don’t agree with your referring to them as “fence sitting..” I would rather call them just plain old fashioned stupid..! When you are a fence sitter, in could imply that you were not sure which way to go. My assumption is rather that they did not fully understand the question , so they just left out the answer. Children do that when they are very young and inexperienced. 10 000 people dead, and they don’t vote...come on man...!!!!

  • julian.booyens - 2012-07-20 15:55

    The SA Government is unbalanced

      devon.riley.52 - 2012-07-20 19:36

      That's an understatement LOL

  • sedick.gydien - 2012-07-20 15:55

    The ANC ancestors must be cringing in their graves because of this current ANC leadership.....oh, correction, what leadership!!!!

  • DrGonzoSA - 2012-07-20 16:01

    Pathetic. Let innocent people get massacred rather than risk upsetting the Chinese and losing out on some free cash

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-20 17:01

      What do you think is the best way to end this massacre, considering the options tabled by west and the Russians?

  • afrikeni - 2012-07-20 16:01

    No wonder we have spoilt or abstained ballots in SA election , - they learn from the Government itself. So why cry for a UNSC seat - when given just abstain and expect to be taken serious by world powers. Perhaps the ANC NEC could not sit to tell Zuma how to vote, isn't his decisions are always collective!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-20 17:00

      Why do you suggest that SA do if they don't agree with both sides of the political divide. SA has is voting for peace and negotiations, which unfortunately is not what the western powers want.

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-07-20 18:23

      SA is acting from a position of self-inflicted weakness. Russia and China paralyse them.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-20 18:28

      South Africa, like all countries has its own interests to protect.

      devon.riley.52 - 2012-07-20 19:39

      @commi fidel that's all fair and well but we all know Asad isn't interested in peace. He will do whatever it takes to hang on to his dictatorship. He has promised the UN before time and time again a cease fire but he lied.

  • devon.riley.52 - 2012-07-20 16:09

    Our government is absolutely spineless. And Russia and China will veto everything in order to protect their assets in Syria,and to hell with all the people dying. They are snakes.

  • Warwick - 2012-07-20 16:19

    I think people should ctch a wake up and realise that the syrian opposition fighters are backed by Al- Queda and othe islamic radicals who answer to Iran and wish to turn the entire middle east into a radical Muslim area. Already Lybia, Tunisia and now Egypt have fallen to the Muslim extremists. I bet there are millions of Syrians that support Al Assad and praise him for trying to stop the take over of Syria by radical Islamists and their evil, hateful doctrines.

      afrikeni - 2012-07-20 16:49

      Let them be, it's their region and if they want Islamic sharia - who cares. Let them vote and determine their future, the western democracy is not the only way of the world. Even if Iran becomes the boss in the region,let it be, it balances world power.

      dee.980 - 2012-07-20 17:32

      I disagree with a major aspect on your take on the situation. Google "arms to Syrian rebels" for 42.3million references to US, Israel et al arming the rebels.... all part of the same agenda presented in Iraq, Libya, a great deal of incitement of the 'Arab Spring' - with end goal of Iran in their sights. I do agree that removal of Al Assad without any transition plan will be a formula continued / more chaos than the current civil war state - where the rebels DO NOT represent an organised nor even unified opposition party. And whilst it is a knee jerk reaction by some to criticise anything the ANC govt does - ABSTAINING and asking for a better resolution is 100% correct imo.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-20 17:57

      Dee, As usual your comment is a mixed bag with agreements and disagreements' ""do agree that removal of Al Assad without any transition plan will be a formula continued / more chaos than the current civil war state"" Why would you say this ??? When Ben Alli, left Tunesia, 95 % of ther fighting stopped !! When Mubarak, resigned, 95 % of the killings stopped ! Whe gaddafi went to visit the abbatoir, 95 % of the killings stopped ! WHY, would it be different here in Syria ???? The fragmented opposition, including the FSA, have ONE common goal: Getting rid of these assad terrorists. As soon as that has been achieved, talks can start; NOT BEFORE !!!

  • marysia.vieira - 2012-07-20 16:19

    For once I agree with the government. The Syrian war is unbalanced with the western nations supporting the minority who are slaughtering innocent citizens.America and the western nations are doing to Syria what they did to Iran in 1951.

  • Andrew M - 2012-07-20 16:20

    Cannot believe what I have just read, South Africa finds it unbalanced. Yet it is OK for heavy weaponry to be used against the population at large.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-20 16:54

      You are conveniently using only part of that resolution, must try harder.. Lying by omission?

      dee.980 - 2012-07-20 17:45

      Andrew - with respect, your view is unbalanced, and may I add with more honesty, your view is fascile.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-20 18:00

      No Fidel, It is YOU who as usual is bullsh.tting!! Andrew is quite right !!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-20 18:12

      No Anthony, It is YOU who as usual is bullsh.tting!! Fidel is quite right !!! This is how stupid your level of engagement is.

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-07-20 18:35

      I see the deranged little maggot Fidel is trolling again.

      Andrew M - 2012-07-22 09:46

      @Fidel and Dee,I am entitled to express my view and would suggest ask the the families of the 10,000 dead if the think it to be ok to use heavy weaponry against the poulation who are mostly unarmed.If this is fascile in your opinion what more can I add, but shame!

  • Malose-Nyatlo - 2012-07-20 16:21

    During the apartheid days, many UN resolutions were rendered ineffective because the US and West adopted the very same position adopted by SA towards middle eastern countries today - where governments oversee the slaughter of their own citizens.\r\nPerhaps the Americas and British were right about us. I don't know what the current Libyan administration think about SA after Zuma's circus in their hour of need.

  • duma.nkabinde - 2012-07-20 16:21

    After what they did in Libya, the South African government thread carefully.

  • duma.nkabinde - 2012-07-20 16:23

    After what they did in Libya, the South African government thread carefully.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-20 16:51

      Spot on, No-Fly Zone Resolution morphed into a bombing resolution! The West has no regard for the United Nations Charter. They must first demonstrate their commitment to and respect for the UN Charter!

      dee.980 - 2012-07-20 17:01

      I agree.

      Warwick - 2012-07-20 17:14

      Why must the "west" get involved? Why not the "east" China, or better still, the African Union. Can you imagine african peacekeepers running around in Syria, bet they go on strike for better working conditions in the first few days. The poor "west", damned if they do, damned if they dont

      dee.980 - 2012-07-20 17:47

      Warick - again I agree partially with you. The 'west' should mainly keep their noses out. But darling - are you aware that this is a UN-SC resolution topic - and who the members are?!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-21 18:18

      We cannot nor should not oppose dictators killing, maiming, detaining and torturing civilians who WANT TO VOTE. We should never do this. We should allow them to use the state resources at their disposal to maintain their unelected control of their countries. We should not help the civilians trying to free themselves from decades of oppression. This would be contrary to our values and principles.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-20 16:24

    Maybe we should change our name to South Switserland, the Swiss are experts sitting on fences!!

  • sbu.mahwai - 2012-07-20 16:25

    Mxm do they ever stand for anything

  • Seena - 2012-07-20 16:27

    the lies were told and look at the fine mess libya has become, imagine 18 000 sorties by nato never killed civilians, the marauding gangs of al qaeda and friends that followed after nato softening of targets never killed, robbed raped civilians...ja go on and believe

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-20 16:47

      Only fools would suggest that a bombing campaign would somehow bring peace to Syria. "You know, humanitarian intervention unfortunately only sounds humane, but the fact of the matter is that any military intervention for whatever reason is inevitably going to cause more bloodshed. And we know those greatest humanists in the world – US and UK – intervened in Iraq, for instance, citing all sorts of noble pretexts, in that particular case – non-existent weapons of mass destruction. What it caused – 150 thousand civilian deaths alone, to say nothing about millions of refugees, displaced persons and the whole dislocation in the country. So, don’t be duped by humanitarian rhetoric. There is much more geopolitics in their policy in Syria than humanism." Russia’s ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin The calibre of Russian diplomats seems to me far better than those representatives I've seen from the west, who seem like cyborgs spouting the same rubbish.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-21 18:23

      Fidel's immature anti-West core belief leads him to weaken the help the Syrian people so desperately need to free themselves from decades of oppression at the hands of the unelected Assad family, who see Syria as their personal fiefdom. He allows Assad to use the Syrian state and military literally to destroy all opposition to his unelected rule, just because Syrians want to vote freely for their leaders. Fidel does not know he's doing this. He has created a delusion for himself. Fidel has blinded himself and doesn't know it. The Syrian people are paying the price for Fidel's immaturity.

  • Mzakes - 2012-07-20 16:32

    Well it was kinda meant to be un-balanced Army vs Some guys with guns? Our foreign policy needs to be relooked.

  • J.A.Rademan - 2012-07-20 16:32

    What did you expect with Zuma away visiting China. Take a side for goodness sake. Stop dong nothing. Bashir cannot repair his reputation, no matter what, he must go.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-20 16:44

      South African has taken the side of peace and negotiations which this resolution didn't offer. There, fixed it for you!

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-07-20 18:30

      No, SA opted out of the decision making process.

      devon.riley.52 - 2012-07-20 19:48

      Yeah the Chinese promised to pull the plug on us if we didn't vote the way they wanted. So guess who dictates our foreign policy, yes you guessed it the communists. Now I can see where all this talk of nationalisation comes from.

      devon.riley.52 - 2012-07-20 19:50

      @communist fidel the resolution that was voted on was 1) to bring sanctions against the asad regime and 2) allow for UN observers to continue their work, and this was vetoed by the commy buggers. One has to ask why, no talk of any military intervention.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-21 18:26

      Fidel believes the self-styled bloody surgeon of Syria, who has already drafted the new Syrian constitution, and who killed thousands of unarmed demonstrators with snipre-fire, detained, tortured and raped tens of thousands more, wants peace. His highly immature anti-West core-belief blinds him to truer reality.

  • Seena - 2012-07-20 16:34

    if the west is serious lets see, malawi needs $500 000 000.00 (look at the zeros) to fix its economy they gave that to greece in 20 months that ladies and gentlemen will herald the start of real western aid to africa..not so

  • Mzakes - 2012-07-20 16:38

    The UN is nothing but some overpaid good for nothing @##%%#, what did they ever fix? look at the Congo!

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-20 16:43

    You voted for peace Mr Minister which the Brits would have us believe was what their draft resolution called for. How can they propose that only one party in a conflict be sanctioned if they don't stick to the peace plan while the other party can continue to cause mayhem with no censure from the UN. That is not mediation but taking sides in a conflict. The wolves want the keys to the hen house again because they promise they won't eat all the chickens this time. Everybody knows that you cannot trust a hungry wolf.

      Mzakes - 2012-07-20 16:47

      How would sanction be applied to the FSA? Seeing as they dont control the country or economy yet. I say open the hen house and kick assad's behind his family included.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-20 17:20

      By delegitimising their authority and cutting their support both financially and militarily. South Africa has no business to demand a regime change in another country. That is the character of colonialist who are used to installing and removing subjects or puppets. Western colonial mindset and their military might has corrupted you and your ilk.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-20 18:05

      Fidel, That is just silly childish talk. With you dumb rethoric, the Nats would still be in power till 2080. Your thoughts are soo unbelievable ignorant and simple; t is the mind of an angry child !!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-20 18:09

      I back up my argument with logic, and what do you do, other than resorting to silly tantrums and name calling, and you call me childish.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-20 19:46

      YES !!!

      devon.riley.52 - 2012-07-20 19:57

      @anthony maybe it would not have been such a bad thing, I mean just look at the rubbish we have.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-21 18:27

      Fidel's highly immature anti-West core-belief at play again, blinding himself to truer reality.

  • Hermann - 2012-07-20 16:54

    It was all OK during the struggle when the Security Council adopted resolutions that were clearly one sided and favoured the ANC. These guys suffer from the short memory syndrome or else they are simply bigots and hypocrites totally untrustworthy.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-20 17:36

      I bet you that none of those resolutions called for regime change or military interference in this country, yes?

      Hermann - 2012-07-20 21:57

      @fidel.... hey you forgot the Castro. Of course those resolutions called for regime change and condemned the ruling regime just like the ANC called for.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-20 22:07

      The South African government has already done its condemnation of the violence in Syria. By the way what number are those resolutions so that I may peruse them?

  • patrick.saunders123 - 2012-07-20 16:58

    dear mr ebrahim. Are really that stupid or do you have some kind of hidden agenda. Just like with burma and libia, sa exposes its hypocrisy and sheer brainlessness in light of current events. you can ride on mandela's coattails for only so long before the world realises what sleazy, two-timing buttheads the anc really is.

  • elvis.nkoana - 2012-07-20 17:03

    I think that SA made an informed decision by choosing to abstein. Anyone who has a basic understanding of any law will agree that part of conflict resolution is 'listening' to BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY. 'Listening' meaning that there should be a DIALOGUE between the warring factions. Therefore, where there is dailogue you need a MEDIATOR. In the case of Syria and Lybia, the Western nations took sides through the support they gave to the armed opposition. The truth is that Western nations will find it very difficult to implement Western-style democracy in the Arab world because of the various powerful tribes (who can either protect or expose 'terrorists' at will) and the Islam religion (is a integral part of their way of life). Laslty, imagine what the US or European governments would do if there where armed protesters on the streets of London, Paris, New York, Brussels, Milan etc. They will unleash the full military might of their nation on these armed protesters. Isn't it the same with Libya, Syria etc?

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-20 17:15

      Well said Sir!

      rob.bayliss.94 - 2012-07-20 17:39

      modikela: You are probably correct to say that Western countries would take a strong position against armed protesters. They would have a lot of support from ordinary people to do just that to preserve the rule of law and individual rights such as property. Why would you consider that to be inappropriate?

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-20 18:32

      Modikelankoana, Sorry, you got a beautiful name, but what a load of garbage can you talk!!! ""BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY"" Are you telling us, that a person who has been raped MUST sit at the same table as his/her rapist , to discuss their differences ???????????? Are you INSANE ? ""The truth is that Western nations will find it very difficult to implement Western-style democracy in the Arab world because of the various powerful....."" WHAT are you talking about??? They have said the same about EVERY DICTORSHIP in the world; 'No, the people are not ready for this !!!!!' The "freedom haters" said the same about Tunesia, Egypt and Libya AND NOW.............................!!!!!!! ""US or European governments would do if there where armed protesters on the streets of London, Paris, New York, Brussels, Milan"" You don't understand, there is NO need for armed protests, one can get rid of a democratic government, without violence!!! But you made our resident, "anti western Hater" happy for a few moments, Well done !!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-21 18:34

      Unfortunately you overlook the fact that the self-styled bloody surgeon Assad has chosen again and again to use violence in an attempt to hold onto unelected power. He killed thousands of unarmed demonstrators with sniper-fire for eleven months, detained, tortured and raped tens of thousands more. You overlook too that Assad has already drafted the new Syrian constitution. He would remain in power for another 14 years. You want to negotiate with him? The neo-Communist Russian and Chinese regimes are enabling this slaughter of the Syrian people. Were they to stand firm with the rest of the world, Assad would have to back down.

  • elvis.nkoana - 2012-07-20 17:07

    Why is the US and EU not intervening in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain? Because, by censoring media (via a full media blackout), they're protecting their oil, military, financial and other interests. So, we're tired of a pendulum foreign policy that swings with self-interest rather than 'doing the right thing'. This type of foreign policy creates a fertile breeding ground for terrorism.

  • Lindelwa - 2012-07-20 17:16

    South Africa has learnt the hard way with Libya where they thought they are voting for a no fly zone, only for America, France, etc to abuse that.Better to abstain rather than have the West pushing its own agenda, pretending to be having the interests of the Syrian people at heart when they are also as heartless as the leader of Syria. The West must stop playing double standards; using their media to only look at the atrocitities committed by the government of Syria. Who is arming the rebels? What happens after the rebels have taken over? Look at Libya, Egypt, Iraq and Afghanistan. The people of these countries are still suffering and the West is not interested.

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-07-20 18:36

      The West never forgave Gadhalfi for his terrorism shenannigans. When the wheel turned, time was up. That is politics.

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-07-21 15:08

      Why insist being part of decision makers in the world if you do not take part in making a decision. ANC logic? Libya, taking into account their history is doing extremly well. Take a look at your own country???

  • sedick.gydien - 2012-07-20 18:31

    Cele is already preparing a history of ill health....scumbuckets.....

  • sandy.langenstrass - 2012-07-20 20:37

    Everyone blogging here seem unable to understand the reality of the suffering that is going on in the daily lives of the Syrian people....if civil war broke out in South Africa...I'd be extremely grateful if the UN together with the major countries, came to our rescue....shouldn't we do the same for the Syrians?

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-20 22:01

      It's not as simple as you make it look. You need to understand the dynamics of geo-politics and approach this with an unemotional discernment.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-21 18:37

      Fidel disconnects himself from the sheer horror of what the Syrian people are going through at the hands of an unelected dictator who has control of the Syrian state and its military. He believes it is fake. He blinds himself with an immature anti-West core-belief. He goes so far as to believe the neo-Communist Russian and Chinese regimes will bring democracy to the Middle East.

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