by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has defended his country’s abstaining from voting in the United Nations (UN) resolution on the escalating Russia and Ukraine conflict.
He said this is because the resolution did not foreground the call for meaningful engagement.
Ramaphosa’s sentiments also broke his silence on the war between the two neighbouring countries.
“Even prior to the resolution being passed at the UN last week, talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials had already started,” he stated on Monday.
Ramaphosa seemingly was scathing on the turn of events that saw the matter put to a vote.
The president said South Africa expected that the UN resolution would foremost welcome the commencement of dialogue between the parties and seek to create the conditions for these talks to succeed.
“Instead, the call for peaceful resolution through political dialogue is relegated to a single sentence close to the conclusion of the final text,” he said.
Ramaphosa added, “This does not provide the encouragement and international backing that the parties need to continue with their efforts.”
He noted criticism that abstaining from the vote condemning Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, South Africa had placed itself “on the wrong side of history.”
“Yet, South Africa is firmly on the side of peace at a time when another war is something the world does not need, nor can it afford.”
Ramaphosa lamented that the results of these hostilities would be felt globally and for “many years” to come.
He expressed concern the UN Security Council was unable to discharge its responsibility to maintain peace and security.
“This gives impetus to the long standing calls for the Security Council’s reform to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”
As a solution, he called upon Russia and the Ukraine to subject their conflict to mediation and reach an agreement to the cessation of hostilities.
“The peoples of Russia and Ukraine – two neighbours whose histories, peoples and fortunes are inextricably bound together – deserve a peace that is durable, sustainable and lasting,” he concluded.
– CAJ News