UN Chief: Syria War Crimes Probe Must Continue Despite Prosecutor’s Resignation
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday said a UN commission probing war crimes in Syria should continue its work, despite the resignation of prosecutor Carla Del Ponte from the panel.
Guterres regrets Del Ponte’s decision to resign, but stresses the “importance of accountability for crimes against civilians during the conflict,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.
“He supports the continued work of the commission as an important and integral part of the accountability process,” Dujarric added.
Carla del Ponte, member of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said on Sunday she was quitting due to lack of political backing from the UN Security Council to the panel’s investigation into human rights violations and war crimes being committed in Syria.
"I am quitting this commission, which is not backed by any political will," Del Ponte said, adding that her role was just an "alibi."
"I have no power as long as the Security Council does nothing," she said. "We are powerless, there is no justice for Syria," Swiss national news agency SDA quoted Del Ponte as saying.
In 2015, Del Ponte said justice would catch up with Bashar al-Assad even if he remained in power under a negotiated peace settlement.
Earlier this year, when the commission reported on the Assad’s air force deliberately bombing and strafing a humanitarian convoy, the 70-year-old Swiss national hinted at her frustration with the inability to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“What we have seen here in Syria, I never saw that in Rwanda, or in former Yugoslavia, in the Balkans. It is really a big tragedy,” she added. “Unfortunately we have no tribunal.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)