Media Statement

07 October 2014

South Africa condemns terrorist attack in Homs, Syria.

The South African Government condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent terrorist attacks which claimed the lives of more than 30 schoolchildren aged between six and nine years and left many more injured in the city of Homs, Syria.

The South African Government sends it deepest condolences to the families of the deceased, the people and the government of the Syrian Arab Republic.

South Africa maintains that there can be no justification for the targeting of schools and schoolchildren and therefore unequivocally condemns this heinous crime as a grave violation of human rights which constitutes crime against humanity in terms of International Humanitarian Law.

South Africa regrets the fact that the Syrian conflict has been raging for more than three years with devastating humanitarian consequences, in particular the vulnerable groups such as women and children, who bear the brunt of the conflict and the accompanying wanton destruction of property and resources.

South Africa calls upon all parties to cease all hostilities and to return to a process of all-inclusive negotiations which should lead to a Government of National Unity. Consequently, the international community must work towards stopping the flow of weapons and personnel into Syria and spare no efforts in putting pressure on the protagonists to come to the negotiating table that will assist towards a Syrian-led negotiated political transition aimed at establishing a democratic, inclusive society in which vulnerable groups such as women and children are protected.

South Africa has steadfastly maintained that democracy is an unassailable right of the Syrian people and therefore remains convinced that in a complex and diverse society such as Syria, there can be no military solution to the ensuing conflict and if the crisis continues, it is the people of Syria who will pay the ultimate price.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, +27 82 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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460 Soutpansberg Road
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