Johannesburg – South Africa’s decision to abstain from a UN vote calling for an urgent probe into atrocities committed in Eastern Ghouta in Syria, is a signal that the current government is protecting its relationship with Russia, the US coalition and Syria, at the expense of basic human rights.
The move will gain criticism from many among South Africa’s Muslims and activists who have been calling for peace in the region and an end to the bombing campaigns and violence, which have seen hundreds of thousands of civilians killed, and millions rendered homeless.
There have also been reports of the use of chlorine gas in bombing campaigns. Such violations of international law demand that offending states are held accountable and South Africa should be at the forefront of calling for this.
Feroze Boda, spokesperson for CAGE Africa, said:
“The bombing campaign in Syria has wreaked trauma, pain and widespread destruction. It is astounding that the South African government would rather protect its relationship with Russia and other belligerent nations including Syria, who are likely guilty of crimes against humanity, rather than acknowledge and call for an end to the terror.”
“US President Barack Obama in 2015 claimed that the rise of ISIS was an “unintended consequence” of the US invasion of Iraq. In the same vein, the continued instability in Syria fosters violent groups. When powerful nations of the world profess to “fight terrorism” and yet in the same vein continue to actively engage in or support an onslaught against civilians, then you have to question what their real intentions are – peace or dominance and endless war.”
“CAGE Africa calls on the South African government to take a more courageous and justice-based stance and join those nations and communities calling for an end to hostilities and immediate assistance to the injured and besieged people of Syria, as well as full accountability to state and non-state actors responsible for civilian deaths, as well as torture and other abuse.”
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)