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Nigeria wants civil war averted in Ukraine

April 30
12:01 2014
Ogwu says war in Ukraine might become an internationalised conflict

Ogwu says war in Ukraine might become an internationalised conflict

Nigeria has warned that a civil war in Ukraine can destabilise the international community and wants all concerned parties to resort to dialogue to resolve the conflict.

Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Joy Ogwu, made this known in New York on Tuesday night at a meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation in Ukraine.

Ogwu, who is currently the president of the Security Council for the month of April, spoke in her national capacity as Nigeria’s Ambassador to the UN.

Her comments came after Pro-Russia activists were reported to have stormed several more buildings in eastern Ukraine and kidnapped international monitors in the crisis-torn country.

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“The situation in Ukraine remains tense and the risk of further escalation remains a matter of grave concern to the international community.

“Utmost care needs to be taken to ensure that the crisis does not degenerate into a civil war.

“If it does, it might become an internationalised conflict, with its attendant reverberations everywhere.”

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Ogwu said that Nigeria had followed with keen interest recent talks in Geneva on Ukraine which resulted in a joint statement issued by Russia, Ukraine, the EU and the U.S.

She noted that the Geneva Statement had called for the disarmament of all illegally armed groups, the return of seized buildings and amnesty for protesters.

She said that Nigeria strongly believes that the agreement reached in Geneva would constitute the basis for the peaceful resolution of the conflict in Ukraine.

“This glimmer of hope, I’m afraid, is fast fading before our eyes as armed men continue to occupy buildings in eastern Ukraine and the level of violence is escalating.”

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Ogwu called for the immediate release of the kidnapped international monitors, and stressed that the way to lasting peace rested in dialogue by all concerned parties.

She said that the alternative of a military option would “bleed the already-open veins of Ukraine’’ and a strong surgical procedure would be needed to mend those veins.

“Dear colleagues, the clock is ticking, Ukraine is the patient and this council and the international community constitute the surgical team.

“Let us stabilise and restore the patient to health or many more might bleed. It is a collective responsibility,” Ogwu told the 15-member council.

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