Media Statement

18 September 2019

Attack on Saudi Arabian oil refineries

The South African Government has noted, with concern, the escalation of conflict in the Middle East, as has again been demonstrated by an attack on two key Saudi Arabian oil facilities on Saturday, 14 September 2019, emanating from Yemeni territory.

South Africa has always asserted that dialogue must be used to avoid escalation of tensions in every situation of conflict. In order to ensure a long-term solution to the crisis in Yemen, we call upon all parties to commit to a political process, where a negotiated, United Nations mediated and Yemeni-led settlement that is inclusive and fair and that will put the interests and well-being of all Yemeni citizens first.

South Africa is also extremely concerned about the impact of the crisis on the humanitarian situation in the country. Starvation and the outbreak of cholera threaten more than half of the population of Yemen, especially the most vulnerable, namely women and children. The likely effect of this conflict on global growth and job creation is also a concern.

South Africa, therefore, calls on all parties to de-escalate hostilities, to commit to a general ceasefire through which dialogue and inclusive peaceful negotiations can be enabled, and to abide by their obligations under international law, in pursuit of a lasting settlement.

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

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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