SA obliged to denounce war crimes in Russia-Ukraine conflict: Expert

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University of Johannesburg International Law expert, Professor Hennie Strydom says despite South Africa’s claimed neutral stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the country shouldn’t be indifferent to the seriousness of international crimes committed.

This as the Democratic Alliance (DA) filed papers at the High Court in Pretoria seeking a declaratory order for government to arrest Russian President, Vladimir Putin if he arrives in South Africa to attend the BRICS Summit in August.

South Africa is a signatory to the Rome Statute. It would be obliged to arrest Putin after he was charged with war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the alleged abduction of children from Ukraine by invading Russian forces.

Strydom says the country has an obligation to denounce war crimes.

“Neutrality stance has got nothing to do with the country’s obligation in term so the multilateral treaty. We cannot use the neutrality not to comply with this obligation in this instance. Neutrality doesn’t mean that you become indifferent when serious international crimes are committed you still have the obligation to denounce that ad to act upon it to tell the world where you stand concerning those crimes. Neutrality doesn’t prevent you from making an announcement and denouncing crimes of that notion.”

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