by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
PRETORIA, (CAJ News) – SOUTH Africa, the continent’s most advanced economy and one of its most influential nations, has pleaded for a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Naledi Pandor, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, called for dialogue, following Russia invading Ukraine on Thursday morning.
“South Africa calls for increased efforts to find a solution that will help de-escalate tensions and avert armed conflict in the Russia-Ukraine conflict,” Pandor tweeted on Thursday.
The appeal followed Russian forces launching an offensive by land, air and sea in what is widely seen as the biggest military attacks between European nations since World War Two (1939 to 1945).
Russian President, Vladimir Putin, ordered military forces to enter the breakaway Ukrainian republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, calling the act a “peacekeeping mission.”
He also officially recognized Donetsk and Luhansk as sovereign states, fully independent from the Ukrainian government.
In a televised press conference, Putin warned the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states, and any other nation, against interfering with military actions in Ukraine.
He threatened dire consequences.
“Anyone who tries to interfere with us, or even more so, to create threats for our country and our people, must know that Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences as you have never before experienced in your history,” Putin threatened.
The United States President, Joe Biden, lamented the “unprovoked and unjustified attack.
Biden insisted the US and its allies would “hold Russia accountable.”
Biden said the US prayers were with the people of Ukraine.
He added: “Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way.”
Africa’s largest nation by population, Nigeria, noted the declaration of a state of emergency and martial law on Ukraine.
“In view of the development, the embassy urges Nigerian Nationals resident in Ukraine to remain calm but very vigilant and be responsible for their security and safety,” the Embassy stated.
The invasion follows months of tensions. Last year, Russia began building up troop strengths along its border with Ukraine.
South Africa and Russia are both members of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) nations.
– CAJ News