South Africa opposes military action against Syria

"Military intervention will only worsen the already dire humanitarian crisis in the country" Monyela, the DIRCO spokesman, said.

South Africa opposes military action against Syria

South Africa vehemently opposes any military intervention in Syria over the alleged use of chemical weapons by the regime against its people, warning such a move would worsen the humanitarian crisis in the war-ravaged country.

"We are against military intervention in Syria because we believe it will not contribute to a sustainable solution," Clayson Monyela, spokesman for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), told Anadolu Agency in a Friday telephone interview.

"It will only lead to more deaths and the destruction of Syria like happened in other Arab countries," he said.

Earlier Friday, US Secretary of State John Kerry accused the Syrian regime of killing 1,429 people in an August 21 chemical attack.

"We know where the rockets were launched from and at what time. We know where they landed and when," he said.

"We know rockets came only from regime-controlled areas and went only to opposition-controlled or contested neighborhoods," added Kerry.

US President Barak Obama said earlier that he had not taken a decision on the issue yet, but that any intervention in Syria would not involve "boots on the ground" and would not be "open-ended."

Britain, Washington's main ally, will not take part in any military action against Syria after its parliament voted down the proposal.

"The use of these [chemical] weapons in Syria is of serious concern and is wholly unacceptable by any standard. No cause could ever justify the use of weapons of mass destruction," the DIRCO said in a statement earlier today.

South Africa believes that UN weapons inspectors, currently visiting Syria to verify the use of chemical weapons, should be given time to complete their probe and announce their findings.

"It was only the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that could authorize the use of military force in conflict situations, only if other measures are deemed insufficient in bringing about a solution," the DIRCO said.

"Any attack on Syria without UNSC authorization would constitute a grave violation of international law that would severely undermine international order," it added.

Humanitarian crisis

Monyela, the DIRCO spokesman, said his government believed dialogue could help resolve the Syria crisis.

"As a democratic country, we believe that dialogue is the best solution that will end the Syrian conflict," he told AA.

"Military intervention will only worsen the already dire humanitarian crisis in the country," he added.

Monyela said his country had been encouraging all parties involved in the conflict to engage in a process of all-inclusive national dialogue, free of violence, intimidation or outside interference aimed at regime change.

However, when asked what advice South Africa would give the international community to prevent future chemical attacks on Syrian civilians, he said: "I don't think there is going to be any other chemical weapon attacks in Syria, so I am not going to give any solutions because that will be pure speculation and, as a government, we are not in the business of speculation."

The conflict in Syria has already claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people, according to UN estimates, and forced nearly two million Syrians to flee the country.

Millions of Syrians have also been displaced internally due to the ongoing crisis.

AA

Güncelleme Tarihi: 31 Ağustos 2013, 11:16
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