Syria desperately needs a nationwide ceasefire to enable its war-weary citizens to access the equipment and resources necessary to combat COVID-19, the UN’s top envoy for the country told the Security Council on Wednesday.
“We cannot afford hostilities which would surely lead to another surge in displaced vulnerable communities”, Geir O. Pedersen said via video-teleconference. “We could not afford this scenario before the pandemic; the price could only be higher now”.
Just yesterday, a bomb detonated in a crowded market on the country’s Turkish border in the north-western city of Afrin, reportedly killing more than 40 people.
The governor of the neighbouring Turkish border province of Hatay said a fuel tanker rigged with a hand grenade exploded amidst the crowd.
The UN chief reiterated his called for “a complete and immediate ceasefire throughout Syria to enable comprehensive efforts to address COVID-19”, adding that “those who violate international humanitarian and human rights law must be held accountable”.
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