UNITED NATIONS – The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, deeply shocked over the killing of an elderly priest, Father Frans van der Lugt in Homs on Monday, calls on warring parties to ensure that civilians are protected regardless of their religion, community or ethnic affiliation.
In a written statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Ban strongly condemns “this inhuman act of violence against a man who heroically stood by the people of Syria amid sieges and growing difficulties.”
The Secretary-General is said to be “horrified by the gruesome images purporting executions,” in the Syrian town of Kesab where the UN says gross human rights violations continue causing residents of entire villages such as Kesaphave to flee.
Syrian government forces “continue to indiscriminately destroy whole neighborhoods, burying entire families beneath the rubble of their homes,” the UN statement reads.
The Secretary General is also very worried that in Syria, groups listed as terrorist organizations by the United Nations Security Council “continue to brutalize the civilian population” in Syria without any moral concerns or fear of legal scrutiny.
- No military solution
The UN insisted that both the Syrian government and armed groups have a legal obligation and moral responsibility to find a peaceful solution.
“They must do everything to avoid and prevent violence against civilians, including indiscriminate shelling and air attacks on civilian areas,” Mr. Ban said, adding that the latest tragedies only highlights the urgent need to protect all civilians in Syria.
Ban warned that the belief by many in Syria that this civil war can end by the military victory of any party is misguided. “More violence will only bring more suffering and instability to Syria and sew chaos in the region,” he said.
- New day for Syria
Ban asks for all sides to permit “unfettered access” immediately for humanitarian assistance, and urged “all Syrians and their outside supporters to put a stop to this conflict, now.”
The UN said the Secretary General is ready to offer the services of his leadership and he is “prepared to contribute to a new day in Syria” pushing once again for a political settlement and supporting the rebuilidng and restoration in the country.
However, the UN is not yet ready to announce if and when it will hold a third round of Syrian peace talks which have been dubbed 'Geneva Three'.
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