SA urges ceasefire in Ukraine

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

South Africa has reiterated its stance that there must be an immediate cessation of hostilities in eastern Ukraine.

“The continued violations of the ceasefire, including the presence of heavy weapons and their use, in violation of the Minsk Agreements, are of serious concern,” said Ambassador Jerry Matjila, South Africa’s permanent representative to the United Nations, during his address at the Security Council meeting on the Ukraine.

Matjila said it was also concerning that the ongoing tensions and conflict were exacerbating the dire humanitarian conditions on the ground.

“The parties need to ensure that there is an urgent de-escalation of tensions, through the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, to allow a situation that is conducive for the alleviation of the humanitarian crisis.

“In this regard, it remains necessary for all parties to fully implement all of their respective commitments under the Minsk Agreements. At this point, the Minsk Agreements, including the package of measures agreed under Minsk II, provide the most promising roadmap for peace.”

Matjila said it was also of critical importance that the parties refrain from actions that could be viewed as provocative, and which may further impede a peaceful resolution to the situation, in line with the Minsk Agreements.

“Furthermore, it is important that the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine is allowed unhindered access to monitor and verify compliance with the Minsk Agreements in line with its mandate.”

South Africa, Matjila said, encourages the various parties to strengthen all diplomatic efforts to produce a sustainable and peaceful solution. –