by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa’s address at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) maintained South Africa’s solidarity with sanctions-hit Zimbabwe and Cuba as well as his country’s policy of non-alignment in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Ramaphosa addressed the 78th session in New York, with the above-mentioned issues among the highlights.
“South Africa continues to call for the lifting of the economic embargo against Cuba, which has caused untold damage to the country’s economy and people,” he said.
Ramaphosa added, “Sanctions against Zimbabwe should also be lifted as they are imposing untold suffering on ordinary Zimbabweans.”
By this stance, Ramaphosa has not yielded to pressure by some critics to interfere in the domestic affairs of the neighbouring country.
The South African government has been pressured to denounce the recent elections in Zimbabwe, in line with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) observer mission, which rejected the conduct of the poll and set Zimbabwe at loggerheads with Zambia.
SADC’s observer mission was led by former Zambian vice-president, Nevers Mumba, who has come under fire on behalf of the SADC mission.
In addition, Ramaphosa reiterated his country’s stance on the Russo-Ukrainian war.
The conflict has been a dilemma for South Africa in that it is an ally of Russia.
He insisted on dialogue, saying his country had committed itself to the promotion of human rights, human dignity, justice, democracy and adherence to international law.
“From the experience of our own journey from apartheid to democracy, we value the importance of engaging all parties to conflicts to achieve peaceful, just and enduring resolutions,” Ramaphosa said.
“It is these principles that inform South Africa’s participation in the African Peace Initiative, which seeks a peaceful resolution of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine,” he said in his address.
South Africa is advocating for the UN Charter’s principle of respect for the territorial integrity of every country should be upheld, he said.
The South African president appealed to the global community to work alongside the African Union (AU) to support peace efforts in the Central African Republic (CAR), eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Libya, Mali, northern Mozambique, Niger, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, the Great Lakes region, the Horn of Africa and the Sahel.
“Democratic South Africa has consistently advocated for dialogue, negotiation and diplomacy to prevent and end conflict and achieve lasting peace,” Ramaphosa said.
– CAJ News