Ban: Countries Sending Arms to Syria Add to the Misery

Posted September 4th, 2012 at 8:55 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging governments to stop sending weapons to Syria, saying they are only adding to the misery.

Mr. Ban told the General Assembly in New York Tuesday that arming Syrian soldiers and the rebels adds to the risk of unintended consequences as the fighting spreads.

Russia as been a long-time supplier of weapons to the Syrian government while Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey have sent arms to the opposition.

Mr. Ban said it is time for U.N, members to unite their efforts to stop the violence and bring a political solution to Syria.

He also said the humanitarian situation in Syrian is grave and getting worse. Mr. Ban told the diplomats that U.N. efforts to help Syrian refugees are badly underfunded, with only half of the money needed contributed so far.

Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey have opened their borders to camps for Syrian refugees. Mr. Ban said these governments have been generous and urgently need more support.

Mr. Ban said both the Syrian government and the rebels have clearly failed to protect civilians as demanded by international law. The United Nations says 100,000 Syrians fled the country in August, the highest monthly total since the conflict began last year.

U.N. refugee agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming says 235,000 Syrians live in refugee camps. But officials say the true number of refugees may be much higher because not everyone has registered with camp authorities.