The United Nation’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights) has reported hundreds of civilian casualties since the invasion began on February 24.
In a March 3 report, UN Human Rights reported having “recorded and confirmed 752 civilian casualties, including 227 killed – 15 of them children. At least 525 have been injured, including 28 children.”
In the interview with ACI Africa, the spokesperson of SACBC expressed the solidarity of the Catholic Bishops in the three-nation Conference with those directly affected by the war.
“Our hearts go out to all those who have died, to those who have lost loved ones, to those who have been displaced, to those who are living in terror”, Archbishop Brislin said, adding that SACBC members “also remember the Russian soldiers who have been killed because they are just soldiers (who) are obeying orders, presumably; our heart goes out to all their families.”
The fact that the Russia-Ukraine violent conflict “could turn into a nuclear war” spells danger for many nations of the world, the Archbishop of Cape Town said.
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He explained, “When something happens in Europe, it does tend to impact on the rest of the world. And we've already seen that in terms of the oil prices, skyrocketing, and so on, and that will affect South Africa, and many other places in the world.”
The SACBC went on to condemn cases of discrimination against Africans fleeing from Ukraine.
“There have been images, evidently of students being turned away, simply because they're African,” he said, and added, “Any form of discrimination like that must indeed be condemned.”
Discrimination against Africans fleeing the violent conflict in Ukraine “is totally, totally unacceptable,” Archbishop Brislin emphasized, and added, “Every life is valuable; and it doesn't matter whether you’re African or European; every life is valuable, and that must be the church's stand.”
“A life lost in Africa, the Middle East or South America, is as important as a life that is lost in Western Europe or in the West in general”, the South African Archbishop told ACI Africa March 3.
Sheila Pires is a veteran radio and television Mozambican journalist based in South Africa. She studied communications at the University of South Africa. She is passionate about writing on the works of the Church through Catholic journalism.