South Africa says mercenary activities pose serious challenges to peace efforts

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- South Africa condemns mercenary activities in Africa, "as they pose serious challenges to our collective efforts to promote and ensure peace and stability in our respective countries," a senior South African diplomat said here Monday.
Jerry Matjila, the Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, made the remark at a UN Security Council Open debate on Threats to international peace and security: Mercenary activities as a source of insecurity and destabilization in Africa.
As a responsible member of the African Union and the United Nations, South Africa condemns all mercenary activities in any African or non-African country, saying that "We believe that these activities are in clear contravention of continental and international conventions and legal instruments."

The recruitment, use, financing and training of mercenaries violates the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and those of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, Matjila said.
The activities of mercenaries poses a serious threat to peace and stability of several regions on Africa, which remains fragile due to on-going conflicts, he said.
Since the advent of democracy in 1994, he said, South Africa has been part of the collective efforts of promoting peace and stability in Africa, he said.
South Africa supports the objectives of the African Union aimed at achieving greater unity and solidarity between African countries and the people of Africa, while also defending the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its member states, the South African diplomat said.

Key among these principles, he said, "is the condemnation and rejection of unconstitutional changes of government as well as non-interference by any member state in the internal affairs of another."
"As a responsible member of the African Union and the United Nations, South Africa condemns all mercenary activities," he said.
"My delegation stresses that it is the obligation of all states to take all necessary measures to eradicate mercenary activities wherever they may occur," he said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the debate that the international body "stands ready to continue to support governments in tackling mercenary activities."
Equatorial Guinea, which holds the presidency of the Security Council for February, organized the high-level debate, presided over by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea. Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union Commission, also participated.



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