Protest Notes issued by the South African Government to Libya and Bahrain for using force against peaceful demonstrators

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO: 1001 (NW1122E)

MR LS NGONYAMA (COPE) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:

Whether the Government issued any protest notes to Libya and Bahrain for using force against peaceful demonstrators; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

REPLY

The President spoke to the Libyan leader telephonically against the use of force.  On 21 February 2011 the Government issued a public statement condemning the violence and use of force against peaceful demonstrators, the violations of human rights and the loss of civilian life following anti-government demonstrations.  Furthermore, the South African Government endorsed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution number 1970 on Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.  The resolution condemned the indiscriminate and excessive use of force against peaceful protesters and called upon the Libyan authorities to end forthwith all acts of violence in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law.  The South African Government in addition called for an immediate end to the violence and for steps to address the legitimate demands of the population.The South African Government has not issued any protest note to the Kingdom of Bahrain, however, South Africa has been monitoring developments closely and supports the peaceful resolution of conflict through a process of dialogue.  In this regard, South Africa takes cognisance of the proposal by the King of Bahrain, His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa for his Royal Highness, Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain to initiate a process of National Dialogue to reach a negotiated and peaceful solution to the conflict.  South Africa strongly encourages all parties to engage in constructive dialogue for the peaceful resolution of the conflict with a sense of urgency.

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