Member of the Syrian Coalition’s legal committee Marwan Rifai criticized the indifference and inaction shown by international organizations, in particular the UN agencies, towards the plight of the Syrian civilians trapped in areas besieged by the Assad regime. Rifai referred to failure of the UN and other organizations to deliver humanitarian aid to the town of Daraya in rural Damascus and the district of Alwaer in Homs last week.
A medical source in Alwaer, under siege by regime forces, said yesterday that most of the medicines in the district have expired, especially serums, antibiotics, and blood bags. The source added that they have informed international organizations about the situation in the district, but all what they were offered were “promises.”
The source pointed out that they contacted Khawla Mattar, director of the office of the UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, who replied that they have not got security clearance to deliver medical supplies to Alwaer. The source added that dozens of residents in the district began to show signs of malnutrition, respiratory tract infections, and pneumonia.
Rifai said the lack of legal and humanitarian responsibility shown by the United Nations and director of de Mistura’s office is unacceptable, adding that this lack of responsibility does not reflect the role of humanitarian and human rights organizations as wells as contravenes the Security Council resolutions 2165 and 2254, particularly Articles 12, 13 and 14 of UN resolution 2254. “These articles clearly call for access of humanitarian aid to the besieged areas and for making cross-border aid deliveries without the Assad regime’s consent,” Rifai said.
Rifai expressed surprise at the United Nations’ use of the Assad regime’s refusal to allow aid into Alwaer as an excuse justify its failure to relieve the civilians trapped by regime forces, criticizing the UN’s yielding to the crippling red-tape procedures imposed by the Assad regime. “Is it logical to ask the criminal to mitigate the effects of his crime?” Rifai asked.
In a statement released last Monday, Homs provincial council slammed the United Nations’ reluctance to exercise pressure on the Assad regime to give access to humanitarian aid; release detainees; and restore public services in Alwaer district.
Nearly 14,000 families live in the district which has been under siege by regime forces for over three years.
The last humanitarian aid was delivered to the district in late 2015 after a truce was reached between residents of the district and the Assad regime. However, regime forces breached the agreement in March 2016. (Source: Coalition + Smart News Agency)