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Middle east

Envoy urges UN action over ‘horror’ in Syria

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-01-30

UN and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has told the Security Council that Syria is on the verge of “breaking up” and that his mediation effort could end unless the council unites to push opposing sides toward compromise.

Syria's war has reached "unprecedented levels of horror", said UN-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi on Tuesday after dozens of men were found slaughtered just ahead of a donors' conference for the devastated country.

Brahimi told the divided UN Security Council Tuesday it had to act immediately to halt the carnage epitomized by the at least 78 young men, each killed with a single bullet and dumped in the Quweiq River in the battlefront city of Aleppo.

Hundreds of distressed people watched as muddied corpses were dredged from the river.

Syria "is breaking up before everyone's eyes," Brahimi told the council's 15 ambassadors, according to reports after the closed-door meeting.

"Only the international community can help, and first and foremost the Security Council."

The 22-month-old conflict has left well over 60,000 dead, according to the United Nations, but the Security Council has remained paralysed.

The Assad government's legitimacy has been "irreparably damaged," Brahimi said, before adding that the regime and the rebel opposition were committing "equally atrocious crimes”.

Threat to regional security

Brahimi also warned of the conflict spilling over across Syria’s borders. "None of the neighbours is immune to the fallout consequences of the conflict."

"Syria is being destroyed bit by bit," Brahimi told reporters after the briefing to the UN diplomats.

"And in destroying Syria, the region is being pushed into a situation that is extremely bad and extremely important for the entire world," he added.

"That is why I believe the Security Council simply cannot continue to say ‘we are (in) disagreement, therefore, let's wait for better times'. I think they have got to grapple with this problem now."

The United States, Britain, France and other Western powers are backing the armed opposition and pushing for resolutions that raised the threat of sanctions.

Three times, Russia and China have cast vetoes to block those resolutions.

On Wednesday the UN will seek $1.5 billion in humanitarian funding for Syrians at a conference in Kuwait.

On the eve of that meeting, US President Barack Obama announced an extra $155 million to aid refugees fleeing what he called "barbarism" propagated by Assad's government.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)
 

Date created : 2013-01-30

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