UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon renews calls that the situation in Syria be referred to the International Criminal Court in the 21st report he submitted to the UN Security Council on the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 2139 (2014), 2165 (2014) and 2191 (2014).
“Throughout the Syrian Arab Republic, the fundamental rules of international humanitarian and human rights law are being violated with little or no accountability. Tragically, hundreds of civilians have been killed or injured in direct or indiscriminate attacks this month alone due to the continued use of explosive weapons in populated areas, including barrel bombs, shelling and car bombs,” Ki-moon said.
“The use of explosive weapons in populated areas will have a severe long-term impact on the Syrian Arab Republic, resulting from the destruction of housing, essential infrastructure and services on which civilians depend. Furthermore, the use of these weapons is leaving deadly explosive remnants of war across the country.”
The UN Secretary-General noted that “continued attacks against health-care facilities, transports and personnel and the denial of care to the wounded and sick continue to be of grave concern. Attacks on facilities, transports and personnel have a devastating multiplier effect, not only killing and injuring, but also leaving many people unable to get the treatment that they desperately need.”
“While the security situation is deteriorating, humanitarian access to those most in need is not improving. The level of access for humanitarian agencies to the 4.5 million people in hard-to-reach areas and their inability to obtain essential humanitarian supplies and services remains unacceptable.”
Ki-moon added that “the scale of the devastation for the Syrian people has reached staggering proportions. There are now some 13.5 million people in need of some form of humanitarian or protection assistance, including some six million children. More than half of the people in the Syrian Arab Republic have been forced to leave their homes, and some 6.5 million people are internally displaced.”
“In its resolution 2139 (2014), the Security Council also called upon the parties to lift the sieges of populated areas. This call has not been heard. It is shameful that nearly 400,000 people are being deliberately forced to live under siege conditions, largely without access to essential goods and services.”
Ki-moon went on: “Three out of every four Syrians is estimated to live in poverty. Health facilities, schools, markets and other essential services across the country are operating at reduced capacity, or are closed down. Living conditions for Syrians will only deteriorate further unless there is an end to the fighting.” (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)