African Nations Urge Restraint Over Iran-Israel Tensions

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Several African countries have called on Israel to show restraint as its war cabinet meets to decide whether to retaliate against an unprecedented Iranian aerial attack on Saturday night.

Iran said it carried out the assault in response to an Israeli air strike on its consulate in Damascus on 1 April that killed Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officers.

The attack involved more than 300 drones and missiles – the vast majority were intercepted, the Israeli military said.

Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Somalia are African countries that have called for restraint to avoid further escalation.

South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement on X that “all parties must exercise the utmost restraint and avoid any act that would escalate tensions in a particularly fragile region”.

Kenyan President William Ruto urged Israel “to show utmost restraint taking into account the urgent need for all parties to walk away from the brink beyond which recovery will be enormously difficult”.

He said the Iranian attack “represents a real and present threat to international peace and security”.

Somalia called on “the international community to take swift and decisive action to de-escalate the situation and reduce the risk of further conflict”.

The Nigerian foreign ministry urged Israel and Iran to “reflect on the universal commitment to peaceful resolution of conflicts”.

Neither Iran nor Israel has extensive political ties in sub-Saharan Africa.