UN Chief Says Security Council Sent “Clear” Message on Syria

Posted March 22nd, 2012 at 6:00 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the Security Council has sent a “clear” message in approving a non-binding document calling for the Syrian government and opposition to implement a plan to end the country's bloody conflict.

Speaking in Malaysia, Mr. Ban said the Security Council called in “unmistakable terms” for an end to all violence and human-rights violations in Syria.

“All the violence must stop. And, there should be a political negotiation, inclusive political negotiation for the resolution of this issue, in a way which can meet the aspiration of the Syrian people and also humanitarian access should be established.''

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says violence continued Thursday with government shelling and clashes with rebels in Hama, as well as a deadly ambush by opposition forces in the southern province, Daraa. Activists also reported government troops killing one person and wounding dozens of others in an assault near the Turkish border.

In Washington Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commended the Security Council for its “strong statement” on Syria and warned President Bashar al-Assad's government to comply.

“To President Assad and his regime, we say, along with the rest of the international community, take this path, commit to it or face increasing pressure and isolation.”

She urged all Syrians to work toward “immediate implementation” of the plan.

The Security Council approved the so-called “presidential statement” threatening Syria with unspecified “further steps” if international envoy Kofi Annan's six-point peace proposal is rejected.

The text of the French-drafted document, obtained earlier by VOA, gives “full support” to Annan's efforts to bring an “immediate end to all violence and human rights violations” in Syria.

Russia and China had previously used their Security Council vetoes to block two Western- and Arab-drafted resolutions that would have condemned Mr. Assad's deadly crackdown on a year-long opposition uprising.

Human Rights Watch issued a statement Thursday saying Syrian security forces are committing “serious abuses” in Qusair, including shelling of residential areas and attacks on fleeing residents. The group also described “dire” humanitarian conditions in the city.

The United Nations says at least 8,000 people have been killed in the Assad government's violent crackdown on the revolt, which began with peaceful protests and became increasingly militarized as army defectors attacked pro-Assad troops who assaulted civilians.