Syria

Countries arming Syria insurgents only increasing the misery: Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the countries supplying arms to Syria are only increasing the misery in the country.

“This conflict has taken a particularly brutal turn. The continuing militarization of the conflict is deeply tragic and highly dangerous,” Ban told the 193-member UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

“Those who provide arms to either side are only contributing to further misery — and the risk of unintended consequences as the fighting intensifies and spreads,” he said.

“The conflict is intensifying,” Ban added. “The longer it goes on, the more difficult it will be to contain. The more difficult it will be to find a political solution. The more challenging it will be to rebuild the country and the economy.”

“How many children will attend the funerals of their parents; how many parents will weep at the funerals of their children, before all parties agree to end the violence and destruction?” the UN chief stated.

“The Syrian people have waited too long,” Ban said. “And now the entire region is being engulfed by the complex dynamics of the conflict.”

The UN secretary general said there had to be a greater international effort to end the conflict in Syria and the humanitarian and refugee crisis in and around Syria.

“Regional leaders have a key role to play in creating the conditions conducive to a solution,” Ban stated.

He also appealed for more money for a UN fund for Syria, saying, “The humanitarian situation is grave and deteriorating both in Syria and in neighboring countries affected by the crisis.”

Ban stated that the UN has asked for $180 million but has only received half this amount so far.

“The most pressing needs are water and sanitation, shelter, essential items such as blankets and hygiene kits, as well as emergency medical assistance,” Ban said.

The new UN-Arab League mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi, also briefly addressed the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

“The death toll is staggering, the destruction is reaching catastrophic proportions and the suffering is immense,” Brahimi said.

He added, “I am looking forward to my visit to Damascus in a few days time, and… to all the countries that are in a position to help the Syrian-led political process become a reality.”

On Tuesday, Syria’s ambassador to the UN said that Damascus is “open-minded and fully committed to the mission of Mr. Brahimi in his endeavors to put an end to violence and find a Syrian-led political solution to the crisis.”

“I’m calling on all member states, particularly those with direct influence… on the parties rejecting political dialogue and the cessation of violence, I’m calling on them to follow in the footsteps of the government of Syria and seriously extend a helping hand to Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi,” Ambassador Bashar al-Ja’afari added.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011.

Damascus says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings.

The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country and accuses Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey of arming the opposition.

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