The Syrian Coalition called upon the United Nations to establish an inquiry into the involvement of UN staffers in Damascus in corruption cases with officials in the Assad regime.
A report published by the Guardian newspaper on Monday revealed that the UN aid program for Syria has paid tens of millions of dollars to the Assad regime via contracts with people closely tied to Assad. The UN has awarded expensive contracts to numerous individuals whose businesses are currently under US and EU sanctions.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the Coalition said that the Guardian’s investigation “represents only the tip of the iceberg of dubious relationships between UN staffers in Damascus and regime officials.”
“The awarding of multi-million dollar contracts to very close associates of Bashar al-Assad amounts to involvement in corruption and the subsidizing of Assad’s war machine,” the Coalition stressed.
The Syrian Coalition has already objected to the UN entrusting its head office in Damascus with the arrangement of logistics and meetings, including with opposition figures and defectors from the regime, allowing the Assad regime to keep under surveillance the activities of opposition officials and their meetings with UN officials in Damascus.
The Syrian Coalition has repeatedly called for the establishment of an inquiry into the discovery of aid items provided by the UN agencies inside the regime’s military bases. Verified photos and videos confirmed the discovery of UN aid items inside Almastuma army base in rural Idlib when it was overrun by rebel fighters in mid-2015.
“The United Nations is yet to set up any inquiry of this kind; therefore, it is imperative that the UN member states seriously intervene to tackle these grave policies that risk discrediting the United Nations and cast serious doubt about its role in Syria,” the statement said.
The Syrian Coalition underscored it would follow up closely on the issue until it is fully investigated and its details exposed. The Coalition pledged it would seek to expose any policies that may help the Assad regime war effort against the Syrian people and their revolution. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)