by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Russia-Ukraine Conflict has entered its second week, and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) maintains its declaration as a “Zone of Peace”.
CARICOM made that statement at the close of its 33rd Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM by the heads of state collectively.
The conference was held from March 1-2 in Belize.
CARICOM as a group expressed concern in an official communique on the fallout between the European nations.
CARICOM “strongly rejects any attempt to deploy military assets that can elevate tension and threaten the peace, territorial integrity, and sovereignty of this Region” and refrain from any action that undermines the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Declaration made in 2014.
The Heads of State and Government of CARICOM called for an immediate ceasefire and an end to all acts of aggression, the urgent withdrawal of Russian military forces in Ukraine, condemning the action and highlighting the discrimination against non-European nationals.
Several international reports have suggested that non-European nationals, including Africans, were not allowed to cross the borders of Ukraine into neighbouring European countries, which is still a developing situation.
Just this week, 20 Jamaican students studying in Ukraine returned home safely.
Conversely, 15,000 Russian and 2,000 Ukrainian tourists were reportedly stuck in the Dominican Republic because of travel restrictions imposed after Russian forces made their way into Ukraine.
The conflict is now on day nine, and there are no signs of an imminent ceasefire despite two rounds of peace talks and hundreds of thousands displaced.
It is unclear the number of civilian casualties since the start of the conflict.
So far, according to international reports, 2,870 Ukrainian troops have been killed, 3,700 injured, and 572 captured; 498 Russian troops have died, and 1,597 more have been injured.