Egypt’s UNHCR ambassador condemns escalating Gouta violence



Fri, 02 Mar 2018 - 05:51 GMT


Fri, 02 Mar 2018 - 05:51 GMT

Syria Civil Defence members help an unconscious woman from a shelter in the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria. Bassam Khabieh/Reuters

Syria Civil Defence members help an unconscious woman from a shelter in the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria. Bassam Khabieh/Reuters

CAIRO – 2 February 2018: Egypt’s ambassador to the United Nation’s Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Alaa Youssef, shared most of the international delegations’ worries regarding the escalation of violence in Syria, especially eastern Ghouta.

During his speech at the urgent session for UNHCR regarding Syria, Youssef affirmed Egypt’s deep condemnation for the usage of violence by all of the Syrian parties during the struggle. “Civilians and organizations were targeted as a result of not distinguishing between them and the armed groups,” he said.

Youssef noted that Egypt was among the countries that participated in drafting the December 2017 law regarding delivering the humanitarian aid to civilians as a necessity to ease part of their sufferings.

He also argued the international community to cooperate in order to fight the internationally labeled terrorist groups, including Islamic State (IS), Al-Nusra Front and any other group pledging allegiance to them.

“These groups have been fueling the Syrian conflict for years and banning the international community from reaching a political solution and restoring Syria’s security and stability,” Youssef said.

The urgent meeting on Friday, March 2 comes per Britain’s request to reach a real solution to end the Syrian people’s misery, especially after the failure of the 30-day ceasefire that was unanimously approved by UNHRC on February 24.

Syrian and other international observers assured that the cease fire is failing, as no party commits to it, and accordingly the number of deaths is increasing daily.

“There is an urgent need to reach a ceasefire between the political parties inside eastern Ghouta in Syria in order to avoid a real and serious humanitarian catastrophe,” the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement issued Thursday, February 22. It was added that communications are taking place now between several governments and international organizations in order to control the consequences of the current dangerous situation.

The statement also expressed Egypt’s deep concern over the latest escalations and their effect on Syrian civilians. The ministry condemned any shelling of civilian areas in Ghouta, Damascus and throughout Syria.

Egypt has been a key player regarding reaching stable circumstances in Syria, especially in Ghouta. It has been announced more than once that any solution other than a political one will not end the struggle, as it won’t fulfill the Syrian people’s demands of a stable and secure country.

As per a request from Kuwait and Sweden, the United Nations Security Council gathered on Thursday, February 22 to vote on a draft law for a 30-day ceasefire in order to allow humanitarian aid to reach the city again.

The voting was delayed until Saturday, February 24 to allow for further discussions. The approved ceasefire was expected to temporarily end the Syrian people’s struggle and stop the siege that has been imposed on them for a long time.

The Syrian political situation has been deteriorating since protests emerged with the Arab Spring revolutions in 2011, when the opposition created the Free Syrian Army to face Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. The situation worsened when the Islamic State terrorist group began interfering in the country in 2014.

About 470,000 people have been killed since the beginning of the war as of February 2016, according to the latest data from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Some 1.6 million Syrians have been domestically displaced, while the number of refugees reached 4.8 million people, the data added.



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