Saturday, 15 September 2018 17:37

Syrian Rights Activists & Local Council Urge UN Action to Protect Civilians in Idlib

The Association of Syrian Layers and Local Councils in many towns in northern Syria called on the United Nations to provide international protection to more than four million civilians living in Idlib and its countryside as they warned of potential crimes of genocide and mass forced displacement by the Assad regime forces, Russia and Iran.

"In the event that the State is unable or unwilling to protect its citizens, the task is transferred to the international community through the United Nations in accordance with Articles VI and VIII of the United Nations Charter to protect the population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity,” the Association and local councils said in joint statement Friday.

The Association called on the United Nations to "take, firm collective action in accordance with the United Nations Charter,” explaining that "the principle of non-interference in the affairs of States is inapplicable in this case in favor of international responsibility for humanitarian protection.”

"Protecting civilians during armed conflict is the cornerstone of international humanitarian law which applies to all civilians without discrimination," the statement said. It stressed that protection of civilians should take priority over the sovereignty of states.

The statement also called for an emergency UN General Assembly meeting to activate Resolution 377/1950, knowns as Uniting for Peace Principle to stop and prevent the crime of genocide and protect civilians in northern Syria. Such a move is needed to avoid the negative, frequent deliberate vetoes by Russia and China and the lack of consensus among the five permanent UN Security Council members on punishing the crimes committed by the Assad regime that threatens international peace and security.

The international community has a legal and practical means, namely, the Uniting for Peace principle to protect more than four million Syrian civilians from genocide in case the UN Security Council continued with its failure owing to the failure of its permanent members to assume their primary responsibility to maintain international peace and security, the statement added.

The statement concluded by warning of any military operation in the liberated Syria’s north as leading to new waves of refugees to European countries, especially to Turkey, thus emptying Syria of its people, especially the group that is the target of mass forced displacement and demographic change. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

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