UN chief urges immediate end to bloodshed, fighting in Syria

UN chief urges immediate end to bloodshed, fighting in Syria
# 12 June 2012 04:42 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called on all the sides concerned in Syria to immediately end what he called "bloodshed and fighting" in the Middle East country, where "the dangerous intensification of armed violence" was reported over the past several days, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

A statement, issued by Ban’s spokesman, said, "The secretary-general further calls on all sides to stop the killing, cease armed violence in all its forms and seek peaceful political means to resolve the deepening crisis, as called for by the six-point plan," which was proposed by Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League joint special envoy for Syria to put an early end to the 15-month Syrian crisis.

The six-point plan, widely backed by the international community and accepted by the Syrian government, calls for the withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops from population centers, a daily halt in fighting for the delivery of humanitarian aid and treatment for the wounded, as well as talks between the government and opposition.

"The bloodshed and fighting must stop at once," the statement said. "The parties must abide by their obligations under international law."

"The secretary-general expresses his deep concern at the dangerous intensification of armed violence across Syria over the past several days, and the grave danger facing civilians in areas under fire," the statement said.

Unarmed observers from the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) have reported an increased level of armed confrontation between government and opposition forces, the statement said.

"The Syrian government’s intensive military operations, including the shelling of Homs and reportedly other population centers, as well as firing from helicopters on Talbiseh and Rastan, are resulting in heavy civilian casualties and human rights violations," the statement said. "The secretary-general underlines the importance of unimpeded access by UNSMIS to Al-Haffa, amid reports of a build-up of government forces around the town."

"In this context, UNSMIS is also observing planned and coordinated attacks on government forces and civilian infrastructure in multiple locations," the statement said. "The violence as a whole is intensifying amid the shifting tactics."

"The secretary-general condemns this escalation of armed violence, in particular the shelling of population centers and attacks against civilian infrastructure by all sides, which impairs delivery of essential services and exacerbates the humanitarian crisis," the statement said.

In the statement, Ban also reiterated his call for all countries with influence on either side to convince them to put the welfare of Syrians first, to pull back from the brink and to reflect on the devastating consequences that increasing violence is having for the people of Syria, the country and the region.

"The secretary-general remains ready to work with the entire international community to assist the government of Syria and the opposition to achieve a political solution to the crisis," it added.
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