Mbumba criticises UN for inaction on Israel-Palestine conflict

Nangolo Mbumba

President Nangolo Mbumba has levelled criticism at the United Nations (UN) Security Council for its perceived inaction in the face of escalating violence in Palestine.

Mbumba’s remarks come amid growing international concern over the Israeli military’s actions in the region and the mounting civilian casualties.

“What is happening in Palestine now is truly the type of crime we never anticipated to happen. It is more disheartening to know that the Israelis are doing it with the support of members from the United Nations (UN) Security Council, who should be the ones to protect the weaker nations and people,” Mbumba said.

He made these remarks during an interview with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Monday, during his state visit to Namibia’s southern neighbour which concluded yesterday.

The Israeli military has killed more than 31 000 Palestinians in Gaza since the start of the war on 7 October, following a deadly attack by Hamas on southern Israel that killed at least 1 100 people.

“They (stronger nations) are allowing it to happen and one day the world will wake up and truly lay blame on their conscience and on their record as leaders,” Mbumba said.

In February, Al Jazeera reported that the United States (US) vetoed another Security Council draft resolution on Israel’s war in Gaza, preventing an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Led by Algeria, Arab nations brought the resolution to a vote, anticipating it would fail after the US, Israel’s key ally, signalled opposition.

The US was the only member who voted the draft, while the United Kingdom (UK) abstained. The resolution received support from 13 other UN Security Council members, urging an end to the conflict, which has led to significant casualties and displacement in Gaza.

To pass, a UN Security Council resolution needs at least nine affirmative votes and no vetoes from any of the five permanent members: the US, UK, France, Russia or China.

Mbumba’s remarks come after Namibia last year called for a ceasefire.

Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation executive director Penda Naanda condemned the ongoing violence between Israel and Palestine.

“Namibia calls upon Israel to cease its attack and refrain from engaging in proactive acts against the Palestinian people, and to respect international humanitarian law,” Naanda said in a statement in October last year.

He said Namibia continues to support diplomatic efforts aimed at reaching a lasting peaceful solution along the 1976 Israeli border with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

“We further call upon the international community to encourage and call for a cessation of hostilities, the protection of civilians, and to continue to support the Palestinian people through the implementation of relevant United Nations resolutions and other agreements for lasting peace in the Middle East,” Naanda said.

The late president Hage Geingob also issued a strong plea for peace in the middle-east and criticised former colonial ruler Germany for rejecting a case at the UN’s top court accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza.

Germany offered to intervene on Israel’s behalf in the case brought by South Africa at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

“No peace-loving human being can ignore the carnage waged against Palestinians in Gaza,” Geingob said in January.

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