A spokesman for South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said his country was “aware of its legal obligations”. In this way, Vincent Magwenya referred to the expected visit by the International Court of Justice to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin. South Africa insists it “remains impartial in the conflict”, having previously abstained from voting on a UN resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We, as a government, are aware of our legal obligation. However, in the period from now until the summit, we will remain engaged with various stakeholders, said presidential spokesman Vincent Magwenya, who was quoted by Reuters.
Putin can visit South Africa in August this year to attend the BRICS Summit (BrazilRussia, India, China and South Africa). Reuters reminds that there is no official confirmation of Putin’s visit to South Africa yet, but the Russian leader is expected to attend the 15th BRICS summit, as in 2013.
Declaration of “impartiality in conflict”
As a signatory to the Rome Statute, South Africa is committed to arresting suspects on its soil, regardless of their status.
The South African country emphasizes that it remains impartial in the conflict and, for example, abstained from voting on a resolution UN condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calling on Moscow to immediately withdraw its forces.
– We take note of the announcement of the arrest warrant issued by the International Court of Justice (Putin – ed.) – said Magwenya, adding: – South Africa remains committed and very much wants a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine through negotiations.
Along with 34 other countries, South Africa abstained from a UN vote condemning Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territories in October 2022.
Earlier, in June 2015, the then president of South Africa Jacob Zuma refused to arrest former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir while attending the African Union Summit in Johannesburg, although he was under an ICC sentence.
The ICC on Friday issued a warrant for Putin’s arrest at the request of the prosecutor’s office, considering that there are real grounds to believe that the Russian leader is responsible for war crimes involving the unlawful deportation of children from occupied Ukraine to Russia.
Main photo source: STRINGER/PAP/EPA