We condemn acts of war by Russia and urge for urgent dialogues; no time to sit on the fence

The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation (DLTLF) has noted with utter condemnation Russia’s decision to invade its neighbour Ukraine.

Putin’s actions hark back to the colonialism and imperialism of the last centuries. The right of national self-determination is sacrosanct. As a result of these actions there will be lives lost, futures shattered and families torn apart. We urge peaceful dialogue among adversaries and the prevention of devastating bloodshed.

This military invasion comes after months of tension between the two nations. All attempts to call for diplomacy appear to have failed. According to news reports, the Russian military fired airstrikes into Ukraine in the early hours of this morning resulting in catastrophic casualties.

The DLTLF is deeply outraged that this act of aggression from Russia is having on the cost of human life. Images showed scores of residents desperately fleeing major cities in the search of safety.

We call on the South African government to join Ghana and Kenya in condemning Russia’s act of war. This is no time to sit on the fence. The act of war and violence needs to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

We further call on the African Union, BRICS economic block, and all other countries to consider the strongest possible sanctions on Putin’s regime. We call on all countries to impose stronger economic sanctions on Russia so they will feel the full brunt of their violent action.

Putin’s act of aggression severely undermines Ukraine’s sovereignty and is a devastating blow to world peace, a breach of international law and a violation of human rights. We urge international support and solidarity with Ukraine. As Archbishop Tutu said on 7 April 2003 on the
issue of war, peace and security: “We in South Africa learned that true security cannot be gained from the barrel of a gun.” These words need to be heeded in no uncertain terms.

Issued by:
DLTLF CEO Piyushi Kotecha
DLTLF Chairperson Niclas Kjellström-Matseke
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