President Ian Khama this week urged the international community to unite and take action against what he described as the rogue State of North Korea.
Briefing local and foreign envoys accredited to Botswana, Khama said “Botswana remains concerned about the blatant human rights violations in the rogue State of North Korea.”
Khama further condemned North Korea for what he described as its continuous testing of ballistic missiles in contravention of international law.
“We therefore urge the international community to act promptly and collectively in making North Korea account for its despicable actions.”
The president reminded his audience that “as you recall, Botswana has terminated diplomatic relations with North Korea as a result of the security threat posed by that country to international peace, security security and growing violation of human rights.”
Khama’s comments follow North Korea’s recent warning against the United States to end its “military hysteria” or face retaliation as a US aircraft carrier group steamed towards the region and the reclusive state marked the “Day of the Sun”, the 105th birth anniversary of its founding father.
According to international media, concern has grown since the US Navy fired Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield last week in response to a deadly gas attack. That raised questions about US President Donald Trump’s plans for North Korea, which has conducted several missile and nuclear tests in defiance of UN and unilateral sanctions.
The North’s warning came as leader Kim Jong Un, looking relaxed in a dark suit and laughing with aides, oversaw a military parade at Pyongyang’s main Kim Il Sung square, named after his grandfather, on his birth anniversary.
Touching on another topical and related issue, Khama said Botswana was deeply concerned at the protracted bloodshed in Syria, which has since 2011 subjected many innocent Syrian people and children to carnage and inhumane suffering.
“We therefore appeal to the international community, in particular the United Nations Security Council to act swiftly and collectively to find a durable solution to the conflict,” said Khama.
He said while military intervention is not always the best remedy, Botswana is of the view that the United States of America’s recent missile strike on the Syrian military targets is part of the ongoing collective efforts to curb the continued human rights violations in Syria.
Equally, at the global level, Khama said, Botswana continues to articulate her principled position on matters of critical importance. We continue to use our membership at the Human Rights Council to advance issues of good governance, the rule of law and the promotion and protection of human rights.
“We also continue to offer our support to the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which serves as the only permanent international Court of last resort in addressing issues of impunity and war crimes. Botswana’s unwavering commitment to the Rome Statute of the ICC is premised on the firm belief that the perpetrators of the worst crimes under international law must ultimately be brought to justice and face the victims of their actions,” said Khama.
He said, as a peace-loving nation, Botswana also continues to contribute to global efforts aimed at addressing global challenges relating to climate change, terrorism, trafficking, and organized crime.
“These challenges, which know no borders, affect us all and require our concerted efforts to make the world we live in a better place for future generations,” he said.