ANC slams 'inhumane' US airstrikes in Iraq, labels it 'international terrorism'

Mourners gather during the funeral procession of slain Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (image), Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and eight others in the Iraqi central city of Karbala on January 4, 2020.
Mourners gather during the funeral procession of slain Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (image), Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and eight others in the Iraqi central city of Karbala on January 4, 2020.
Mohammed SAWAF / AFP

The African National Congress has slammed what it calls "inhumane" airstrikes by the United States in Iraq, which saw General Qassem Soleimani, Commander of Iranian Quds Force killed. 

The governing party called on the United Nations to take action against "this act of international terrorism" and for restraint between countries.

In a statement on Saturday, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule described the airstrikes as an attack on the people of Iran.

"The ANC and all progressive formations of the world cannot afford to remain silent while the actions of the US appear to be undermining peace and security with impunity - a clear and deliberate erosion of Iran's national stability," Magashule said.

"We urge the nations of the world, through the United Nations, to act firmly and expeditiously against this act of international terrorism. We urge all parties to this conflict to give peace a chance. We appeal for maximum restraint".

READ | SA alarmed by escalating tension in Iraq, calls for calm

Magashule said the act could cause another world war.

"The ANC rejects this raw aggression against the people and government of Iran, which has the potential to plunge the Middle East and the World into a full-scale war.

"History has shown that the majority of the victims of this kind of international terrorism are the elderly, women and children. Young people also suffer serious displacement with the prospect of a bleak future."

READ | US killing catapults Iraq back to aftermath of 2003 invasion

The party further rejected what it called "right-wing populism", saying it hinders peace.

"The ANC rejects right-wing and populist-led unilateralism that undermines collective global decision-making.

"These are an affront to multilateralism, by which peace and social justice will be created within and between countries."

 The ANC said it would utilise South Africa's position in the UN Security Council to focus on conflicts locally and internationally.

"We urge the US to take a leaf out of the African Union (AU) book on its commitment to silence the guns through a progressive call dubbed  'silencing the guns by 2020' as part of Agenda 2063 aiming to create a better Africa - a trajectory that South Africa will openly advance and advocate for as it assumes the Chair of AU through President Cyril Ramaphosa this year."

A funeral procession was held for Soleimani and others in Baghdad on Saturday.

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