Monday, August 8, 2011

Ban Ki-moon calls on Assad to end the use of violence against civilians

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to end the use of violence against civilians, and expressed "great concern" about the death toll from the protests the last days in the Arab country. "In a telephone conversation with President Assad, the Secretary General expressed his great concern and the international community over the increasing violence and the death toll in Syria in recent days," reported the spokesman's office of the UN.

The UN chief reiterated the Syrian president the "strong message" sent this week by the Security Council again urged President Assad to end the use of military force against civilians "immediate." The Security Council of UN on Wednesday broke its silence of several months of violence in Syria and the regime in Damascus condemned by a presidential statement, a mechanism that requires unanimity of all members of the organ.

According to Ban's spokesman, during a telephone conversation on Saturday, Syrian President referred to the high number of casualties among security forces and police, what the Secretary General replied that both condemns violence against civilians as against the security forces. Ban also moved to the Syrian president to have "credibility" of reforms announced by the Damascus regime must end "immediate" use of force and mass arrests, and returned to Al Asad to remember their obligations under international laws on human rights.

He reiterated his call to Damascus regime to accept the visit to the Arab country missions by international humanitarian agencies and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, a matter to be discussed next week with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Walid al Mualem. Finally, the UN chief said during a telephone conversation with President Assad the Syrian authorities' responsibility to ensure the safety of UN personnel and their facilities across the Arab country.

The Syrian opposition charged that on Saturday at least 24 people were killed yesterday in another day of protests in which some victims were shot by security forces in the protests after the noon prayer, especially in Arbin, Dumair and Homs . Meanwhile, others were killed by artillery and heavy machine guns during the night demonstrations in Homs, according to the Local Coordination Committees, which highlighted that it was a response to protests and an attempt to stop the defection of soldiers who do not want to shoot your people.

For now, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimated to have died at least 1653 civilians and 389 troops from the security forces since the start of the popular uprising last March.

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