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Lawmaker says bombing Gaza not self-defence

2023-11-23  Edward Mumbuu

Lawmaker says bombing Gaza not self-defence

As the war in the Gaza Strip rages on, the National Council has called for respect of international law and peaceful negotiations between Israel and Palestine.

This position was ventilated by National Council (NC) chairperson Lukas Muha when Namibia’s upper House of its bicameral parliament resumed work on Monday.

“As a society that respects international law, we are calling on the UN Security Council to effect round-table discussions and peaceful negotiations between Israel and Palestine without further delays,” he appealed.

“Article 96 of the Namibian Constitution deals with foreign relations. It guides Namibia to commit and ensures that in our international relations, we maintain a policy of non-alignment; and promote international cooperation, peace and security. It also encourages the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means, among others. 

On this stance, I send our heartfelt condolences to lives lost in both the Russia-Ukraine war, Israel-Palestinian conflict, and conflicts on the African continent.  Allow me, honourable members, to reiterate and stand on the Namibian government’s position by condemning the escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine. The bombing of innocent lives, among them children and women, and the destruction of infrastructure such as homes and hospitals, cannot be classified as self-defence,” Muha said.

As of yesterday, more than 14 100 people were killed in Gaza since 7 October. In Israel, the official death toll from Hamas’ attacks stands at about 1 200.

Hamas and allied groups took about 240 captives during their incursion into southern Israel which killed about 1 200 people, Israeli authorities stated.


Official business

Muha touched on an array of successful missions of the NC.

The current sitting marks the 10th session of the 6th NC.  It runs until 7 December.  

“During the three weeks of this session, we are expected to, among others, review the Bills referred to us by the National Assembly, consider the new motions and debate on them, as well as consider reports of the NC standing committee and inter-parliamentary organisations. It is also expected of us to make use of this session to plan for the 2024-2025 financial year,” he told his fellow parliamentarians.

The chairperson, likewise, expressed delight in the fact that the NC’s drive to build members’ capacities has yielded positive results.

 “At this juncture, I am comfortable to report that the National Council has so far managed to capacitate its members in various areas.  It was just last week that the NC built the capacity of its members in the areas of diplomacy, protocol and etiquette. What I see today in terms of time management and the dress code is a true reflection of what we learnt during the workshop,” Muha reflected.

He also looked back on the NC’s standing committees’ work between July and November.  

“It was not easy, but we have accurately followed the consolidated work plan for the standing committees of the National Council set for 2023-2024. Thanks to the leadership of the standing committees for a successful completion of the laid oversight activities,” he added.

During their recess, the standing committee on agriculture, environment and natural resources had three stakeholders’ engagement activities and one benchmark study.

Meanwhile, the standing committee on home affairs, constitutional and legal affairs conducted one working session with key stakeholders, and one benchmark study visit.

Additionally, the standing committee on public accounts and economy had two stakeholders’ engagements, one with local authorities and the second one with the trade ministry. They also had a study visit.

2023-11-23  Edward Mumbuu

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