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Brutality continues unabated in Syria: UN chief

English.news.cn   2014-03-25 05:46:53

UNITED NATIONS, March 24 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday said that "brutality continues unabated" in Syria after more than 100,000 people have been reportedly killed and more than 600,000 others have been injured since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in March 2011.

The secretary-general, in his latest report to the UN Security Council, said, that as the conflict enters its fourth year, indiscriminate violence and brutality continue unabated in the Middle East country.

"Indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks, including aerial bombings, shelling, mortars and car bombs in populated areas, caused mass civilian death and injuries and forced displacement," he said. "Publicly available reports indicate that clashes between government and opposition forces continued in most parts of Syria. "

Fighting was particular intense in Aleppo, Dar'a and Rural Damascus governorates, according to Ban.

As a result, at least 500,000 people have been displaced from eastern Aleppo City since January, said Ban, adding that around 200,000 fled to western Aleppo City and about 300,000 fled to the north of the country.

"Syria is now the biggest humanitarian and peace and security crisis facing the world," he said. "It requires an immediate end to violence and a negotiated political solution to the conflict."

"According to most observers and reports, well over 100,000 people have been killed since the beginning of the conflict," Ban said. "Reports and estimates from UN agencies indicate that more than 600,000 have been injured since the onset of the crisis in March 2011."

More than 9.3 million people in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance, including 6.5 million internally displaced, he said. "Nearly 2.6 million people have sought refuge in neighboring countries and North Africa."

Since the Syrian crisis broke out, the United Nations has been leading an international efforts to deliver the humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people in need, including Syrian refugees who fled to neighboring countries such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

While localized ceasefire has led to access in a limited number of locations in Syria, "the implementation of localized ceasefire agreements is hampered by the absence of a neutral third party to monitor them, lack of trust between government, opposition groups and local communities, and proliferation of armed groups and pro- government militias," the secretary-general said. "I strongly denounce the use of siege as a tactic of war and ask all parties to immediately allow assistance to besieged areas and allow civilians, who wish, to leave these areas."

About 50 percent of the 540,000 Palestinian refugees registered in Syria have been displaced within Syria, with at least another 70,000 displaced to other countries, he said, adding that "5.5 million Syrian children are in need of assistance."

"Cities and villages have been reduced to rubble; communities are threatened and attacked; millions have been forced to flee," Ban said. "Poverty is on the rise. Weapons continue to flow into the country and are used indiscriminately against civilians."

"Health facilities and schools and other civilian infrastructure continue to be used for military purposes," he said. "Grave crimes go unpunished and thousands remain in captivity without resources to due process."

The secretary-general also said that he is "extremely concerned with the ongoing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Syria and the culture of impunity which has developed."

Ban strongly condemned the continued heavy shelling, including the use of barrel bombs by the Syrian government forces in residential neighborhoods, as well as the terror acts in Syria by extremist groups who are attempting to impose radical ideologies in some parts of the country. He urged all sides in the conflict to adhere to international humanitarian and human rights law.

"I also remain deeply concerned at the participation of foreign elements and groups in the fighting," said Ban. "I reiterate my firm opposition to the transfer of arms and fighters from outside the Syrian Arab Republic to either side inside the country and call on all States, organizations and groups to immediately cease supporting the violence in the country and to use their influence to promote a political solution instead."

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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