WINDHOEK - International relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah yesterday diplomatically condemned the killing of the Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani, in a US drone strike in Baghdad last week.
Soleimani was a top general and one of the most powerful men in Iran who headed the elite Quds Force. One of his advisers, top Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also killed in the attack.
Washington has since confirmed that President Donald Trump ordered the strike, which killed the Iranian general. “In managing our international relations, as a government we are guided by the constitution.
And the Namibian constitution is very clear that issues between member states should be resolved amicably and by all means we need to avoid any situation that will lead to loss of lives,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah in a telephonic interview yesterday.
“Again we have the United Nations (UN), a body created with the main purpose to maintain peace and security in the world.
It is very unfortunate that lives have to be lost including that of Soleimani but we really feel that the international community needs to find the best way of solving problems through peaceful means and not to revert to killing - something which will not take the international community anywhere because we need to co-exist.”
Therefore, Nandi-Ndaitwah said, in accordance with the Namibian foreign policy, the country does not support any action aimed at loss of lives. “We therefore are just asking those who are involved to find an amicable way of addressing differences among the two states.”
Iran and Namibia enjoy a cordial relationship dating back to Namibia’s liberation struggle.
In fact, Iran was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Namibia and opened an embassy in Windhoek.
The international community is now scrambling to cool the elevated Iran-US tension, which has raised fears of all-out war in the Middle East. Late Tuesday, Iran launched missile strikes against two Iraqi military bases that house US forces in retaliation for last week’s airstrike.
According to international reports, there was no indication from US officials of any American casualties from the strikes. Iraqi officials said none of their troops were killed or injured.
The airstrike that killed Soleimani has, however, been widely condemned, including in neighbouring South Africa were international relations minister Naledi Pandor called for calm. She said the South African government was alarmed by the “escalating tension in Iraq, which has far-reaching ramifications not only for the Middle East region, but also for international peace and security”.
In a statement, her department said the country recalled and reaffirmed the UN Security Council statement from December 13, in which the members of the Security Council had “called for maximum restraint and urged all to refrain from violence or the destruction of critical infrastructure”.
“It is crucial for all sides to remain calm and desist from taking any further action that will exacerbate the already fragile situation.
South Africa emphasises its principled view that conflicts should be resolved through political dialogue rather than resorting to the use of force,” Pandor said.
Also, the South African ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) on Saturday, condemned the airstrikes. “We view this latest in-humane episode as an attack on the sovereignty and self-determination of the people of Iran. The ANC rejects this raw aggression against the people and government of Iran, which has the potential to plunge the Middle East and the World into a full-scale war,” ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said in a statement.
2020-01-09 07:11:19 | 2 months ago