SA calls for end to Syrian violence

2011-08-02 08:37

South Africa is concerned about increased violence in Syria and calls on both sides to practice restraint, the department of international relations and cooperation said yesterday.

“South Africa condemns all forms of violence, including the use of force against unarmed civilians, as well as hostility against security forces and sectarian violence,” said spokesperson Clayson Monyela in a statement.

French news agency AFP reported that President Bashar al-Assad had ordered a blitz on protests by the opposition, resulting in the deaths of about 140 people on Sunday, the eve of Ramadan.

The interior ministry denied the figures, claiming “armed terrorist groups” were responsible.

Monyela said it was his department’s conviction that a Syrian-led inclusive political process, based on fundamental freedoms, was the only way to resolve the crisis in that country.

“We would like to call on the Syrian authorities to comply with their international obligations under human rights and humanitarian law and to launch a credible and impartial investigation into the violence in Syria.

“We appreciate the actions already taken by the Syrian government in launching dialogue as well as the reform measures already announced,” he said.

Monyela added that it was essential that the momentum of these processes not be lost.

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