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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Starvation is a war crime says UN

The United Nations (UN) has declared that starvation is a war crime, just as the UN-Arab League Special envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi stepped down, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Brahimi, a veteran Algerian diplomat, stepped down after being frustrated by the purported Syrian forces from carrying out his mandate of assisting victims and ensuring that aids get to the affected.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that Brahimi, Syria mediator took this stand after briefing the 15-member Security Council for the final time and had formally stepped down on My 31

However, in reaction to Brahimi vacation of special envoy post, the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said blamed an international deadlock over how to end the country's three-year civil war for hampering a bid to broker peace.

In addition, he noted that international and regional powers have backed opposing sides in the civil war that has so far killed at least 150,000 people, with Russia and Iran supporting President Bashar al-Assad and Western powers and Gulf Arab states largely backing the rebels.

NaijaAgroNet recollects that Brahimi had long threatened to quit, just as his predecessor - former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan - did in 2012.

Annan resigned after six months as the U.N. and Arab League joint special representative on Syria, slamming the U.N. Security Council for failing to unite behind efforts to end the fighting.

Ban ki-moon noted in announcing Brahimi's departure, that "There must be accountability for the terrible crimes that have been - and are being - committed. Such crimes include the deliberate starvation of communities by preventing humanitarian access."

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Pix: Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General

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