The UN calls for a humanitarian truce of one month in Syria

News 6 February, 2018
  • AFP


    Tuesday, February 6, 2018 04:43

    Tuesday, February 6, 2018 04:43

    Look at this article

    DAMASCUS | The UN has called Tuesday an “immediate cessation of hostilities” in Syria, for at least a month, to distribute aid and evacuate the injured, warning against “the disastrous consequences” of the humanitarian crisis that has ravaged the country.

    The conflict that has torn Syria since 2011 has made more than 340 000 people died, blazes a number of fronts and involving local actors and foreigners, but also of groups jihadists.

    Lamenting “an extreme situation”, the representatives of the different UN agencies based in Damascus calling for “an immediate cessation of hostilities for at least a month, in all of Syria,” according to a press release.

    The goal is to “allow for the distribution of humanitarian aid, the evacuation of the wounded and sick in a critical state, and alleviate the suffering” of civilians, underlined the press release.

    “The humanitarian team of the united Nations in Syria warns of the dire consequences of a worsening of the humanitarian crisis in several regions of the country,” said the press release.

    In recent months, the regime of Bashar al-Assad is conducting air strikes deadly against two rebel strongholds, the Ghouta east to the gates of Damascus, and the province of Idleb, in the north-west of syria.

    In addition, Turkey has launched on 20 January a major offensive in Syria against the enclave Afrine (north-west), to hunt his border militia of the kurdish protection Units of the people (YPG).

    The UN deplores the difficulty of access to areas besieged by the belligerents: the localities encircled by the regime’s forces may not receive humanitarian aid without the authorization of Damascus.

    A plan which provides for the distribution of aid twice a month in areas that are besieged or regarded as difficult to access is thus “crippled”, says the UN.

    “If the access was given, three convoys could be sent each week, so you can achieve in two months 700 000 people in these areas”, said the release.

    This is particularly the case in the Ghouta eastern rebel enclave in the east of Damascus, besieged since 2013 by the plan, where some 400 000 people face daily shortages of food and medicines.