Namibia, SA selected on IPU Russia/Ukraine task force

Martin Endjala

The Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) has elected Namibia and South Africa, as the only African countries to form a task force mandated to resolve the ongoing Russia and Ukraine conflicts.

This was revealed yesterday by the National Assembly Speaker Peter Katjavivi during a courtesy visit from the members of the South African National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on a benchmarking visit to the National Council.

Speaker Katjavivi with his counterpart Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula from South Africa, are the only leaders the IPU has vetted as representatives from Africa.

Katjavivi pointed out that the gesture from the world’s parliamentary body, demonstrates confidence in the two countries legislatures, while stating that the two countries share a rich history dating back to the days of liberation.

The speaker further welcomed the exchange of visits as these are imperative to promote capacity building and strengthen parliamentary cooperation.

He informed the visiting delegation that the responsibilities of task force are not going to be easy and that it will require collective efforts from everyone involved.

The South African delegation leader, Seiso Joel Mohair, emphasized the importance of the two legislative bodies to work together and to build strong institutions that will guide democracy.

The relatively close historic links of both the ANC and Swapo with the former Soviet Union, as a foundation for the friendly relations with the Russian Federation, might have been a factor to select South Africa and Namibia as African members of the initiative.

Henning Melber, in a conversation with the Windhoek Observer today, pointed out that their ’neutrality’ in the UN voting has certainly been recorded as positive from a Russian perspective.“At the same time, it has caused resentments in the Ukraine. It therefore is dubious that they are

perceived by both sides as neutral facilitators chosen on their basis of impartiality, as the IPU statement on the establishment of the task force maintains,” Melber opined.Similarly, the declared aims to support and achieve peace through this initiative and build confidence is rather a lukewarm wishful thinking, the analyst stated.

‘’In terms of any common understanding with those, who want to eradicate the country and its people, the whole initiative seems a waste of time and energy and resources, as Russia seems not to barge as seen in recent peace talks.’’

Furthermore, Melber emphasized that the aim should be to stop the Russian invasion of another sovereign state and immediate withdrawal from the occupied territory.

“When one follows the statements by Russian parliamentarians on Ukraine, it is inconceivable that the Ukrainian parliamentarians could reconcile. The war has entered a stage when war crimes bordering to genocide are willingly accepted as part of the Russian military strategy,” Melber argued.

According to Melber, Ukraine is visibly eliminated as a state and society from the Russian mind set and map.

However, the war has indeed closed many doors among ordinary people in the Ukraine, who have become the targets of the aggression, and their democratically elected lawmakers.


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