Statement on the missile intercepted over Riyadh

The South African Government was shocked at the news of yet another deadly missile being intercepted over Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, 19 December 2017. Last month the Saudi defence system intercepted a missile that was reportedly targeted at the Riyadh International Airport. The recent reports indicate that the missile was aimed at the Royal Palace.

There is no doubt that had these missiles hit their intended targets a lot of innocent human lives would have been lost and vital infrastructure destroyed.

The South African Government condemns this indiscriminate targeting of civilian lives. We are concerned that such acts, together with the recent murder of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh earlier this month, push away any prospects for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.  The situation in Yemen is already described as the worst humanitarian disaster in living memory and these developments will worsen the conflict and spread it across the region.

South Africa supports the efforts by regional players aimed at bringing about a peaceful resolution under the auspices of the already-agreed peace plan. We call on the UN’s Special Envoy on Yemen and the leadership of the countries of the region to double their efforts to draw to the table all affected parties in the Yemeni conflict. South Africa stands ready to make whatever possible contribution towards peace.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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