South Africa urges UN to deploy troops in Syria
Published Wednesday, June 13, 2012
South Africa's Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe on Wednesday said the UN Security Council should agree to the deployment of a peace force in Syria.
South Africa, currently a Council member, was pushing for the body's five veto-carrying states to reach a consensus on the war-torn state "because now peace won't happen of its own."
"So what is required is a peace-making force to be deployed and also to defend that peace once attained," Motlanthe told parliament.
Slamming the violence as unacceptable, Motlanthe said South Africa will try to lobby for agreement and added that Syria will be discussed on the sidelines of the upcoming G20 meeting.
"We are a small fry... We can only use soft power of persuading those with this real veto power to find each other, to find a common meeting point so that an intervention is called for."
"We can't sit back and do nothing about it, we've got to keep on knocking on them because the situation was much much better two weeks ago, it has spiralled completely out of control now," he said.
"And so I suppose Russia and China and the United States of America and the other permanent members are now persuaded that something should happen."
Motlanthe warned against unilateral action, as taken in Iraq, saying it was important for the UN to take responsibility for any intervention which had to be aimed at bringing peace.
UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous on Tuesday said Syria was in a full-scale civil war, as the government's forces seek to regain control of territory lost to the opposition.