Defence Minister Thandi Modise says ‘warmongers’ must be held accountable

The minister slammed warmongers, ironically while in a country that invaded Ukraine.

The world’s silence on conflicts across the globe has allowed “warlords to reign supreme” and continue with the decimation of weaker countries unabated.

These were the words of the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Thandi Modise, on Tuesday at the 10th international security conference held in Moscow, Russia.

Modise touched on South Africa’s silence on ‘warmongers’, citing that the country’s silence allows warlords to “reign supreme” across the world.

“The world can no longer afford to be held to ransom by warmongers. They must be dragged kicking and screaming to the table of peace and multilateralism,” said Modise.

The conference which kicked off from 15 to 17 August, was aimed at sharing and exploring solutions on matters of global security.

In attendance were defence ministers from various countries, including stakeholders from the military field.

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The minister not only slammed warmongers but also preached about world unity and peace, ironically in a country that is in an ongoing war against Ukraine.

However, South Africa has always maintained a neutral stance on the Russia and Ukraine war, despite several calls for the government to reprimand Russia for the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Modise said Africa’s vision was to create a conflict free continent and refrain from unnecessary wars.

“Our continent has seen enough destruction and bloodshed, at times arising from unnecessary conflict. As Africa, we must never waver in our determination and focus on building the Africa we want.”

She said South Africa was one of the key players in peace-making in Africa.

“We have contributed to regional and continental efforts to maintain and uphold the rule of law, conducted peace-keeping and assisted in post-conflict reconstruction.

“We have helped train and integrate opposing forces and also provided support other than military, when called upon to do so. Hopefully, this conference will expose us to new practical and innovative strategies to address problems confronting Africa.”

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‘Stop proxy wars’

She stated that South Africa is always ready to engage in resolutions of conflict through mediation, and maintains a position of multilateralism.

“We respect and encourage resolutions that rebuild people and nations rather than encourage the “might is right” phenomenon. “As a country, we strongly believe that proxy wars must stop.”

Modise said as South Africa commits to multilateralism, she believes that the United Nations and the African Union must be strengthened and allowed to lead global and regional peace efforts.

“Together, we must afford multilateral bodies the space to play their respective roles in the collective pursuit of peace and security, and ultimately, inclusive socio-economic development.”

The minister said no country should be bullied into taking sides when it comes to war but choose peaceful negotiations.

“Where others act unilaterally in pursuit of selfish interests, we must act as a collective for the collective good of humanity.

“We must say to those provoking wars and causing conflict across the globe: ‘This far and no further!… the world deserves peace, justice and security,” she added.

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