Monday, May 27, 2024

“We will not sit back, our arms folded, as another genocide is perpetrated in our lifetime…”: South African president on Eid day

South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa says that after more than 70 years “of discrimination, oppression and apartheid”, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip “are now faced with genocide”.

The South African president made the comments during a speech to hundreds of Muslims gathered for Eid prayers at a sports ground in Laudium near the capital Pretoria.

The South African government has brought a case against Israel at the International Court of Justice, accusing it of “genocidal acts” in its assaults on Gaza. Israel denies the charge.

“What is the indiscriminate bombing of civilians from land, sea and air if not an act of genocide?” Ramaphosa said while also asking if the forced displacement and deliberate starvation of an entire population was not an act of genocide.

“This week marks 30 years since the Rwandan genocide unfolded before the eyes of the world, and little was done to stop the killings of one million people. We will not sit back, our arms folded, as another genocide is perpetrated in our lifetime, regardless of the race, ethnicity, religious or political beliefs of the victims,” the president added.

At least 33,545 Palestinians have been killed and 76,094 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7.

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