Whilst speaking at the first meeting of the national litigation forum in Pretoria on Friday, President Cyril Ramaphosa called on the United Nations (UN) to mediate between Russia and Ukraine.
The meeting comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an official “military assault” and invasion into Ukraine yesterday. Since then, Ukrainian forces have been fighting off Russian invaders in the capital of Kyiv. President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine accused Moscow of targeting civilians and called for more international sanctions.
During the meeting, Ramphosa expressed that he feels it is not “necessary” for people to go to war if the UN will step in and mediate.
“We can see how the war that is going in Ukraine, and I would say that the conflict should be subjected to mediation, negotiation and engagement because it’s not necessary for people to go to war.
“It’s not necessary for people to be killed and infrastructure to be damaged, it behoves on countries of the world, particularly the United Nations security council. They are the ones who should be getting more and more engaged in a mediation process, and one doesn’t see that happening,” said Ramaphosa.
I call upon the United Nations Security Council to do their mediation work to resolve the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/UwOdKDfLJT— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) February 25, 2022
Both SA and Africa Unions calling for peace in Ukraine
Ramaphosa’s call upon the UN comes after South Africa called upon Russia to “immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine”.
“South Africa calls on Russia to immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine in line with the United Nations Charter, which enjoins all member states to settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice are not endangered,” said the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) on Thursday.
And on Friday, the African Union (AU) has also joined the call in urging Russia and Ukraine to lay down their arms and re-open political negotiations.
In a statement, the AU expresses how serious and dangerous the situation in Ukraine is.
“They call on the Russian Federation and any other regional or international actor to imperatively respect international law, the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Ukraine.
“The Chair of the African Union and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission urge the two parties to establish an immediate ceasefire and to open political negotiations without delay, under the auspices of the United Nations, in order to preserve the world from the consequences of planetary conflict, and in the interests of peace and stability in international relations in service of all the peoples of the world,” reads the statement.