13 February 2013 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned a deadly attack on the border between Syria and Turkey, which resulted in the deaths of citizens of both countries, and renewed his call for all parties to refrain from using violence.
According to media reports, a minibus was bombed on Monday in the buffer zone between Turkey’s Cilvegozu border crossing and Syria’s Bab al-Hawa post, killing 14 people and injuring 28 more.
“As the bloodshed in Syria continues unabated, the threats to peace and security in the region are increasing,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement issued last night.
“The Secretary-General reiterates his deep concern over the spillover of the Syrian crisis into neighbouring countries. He renews his call for all parties to refrain from using violence, exercise restraint and move toward a political solution.”
Mr. Ban underscored that using violence against civilians is unacceptable and expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and wished those injured a speedy recovery.
“Syria is self-destructing,” Mr. Ban told the Council on Foreign Relations on Monday. “After nearly two years, we no longer count days in hours, but in bodies. Another day, another 100, 200, 300 dead.”
Yesterday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, told the Security Council that the number of civilians killed in Syria since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in early 2011 is likely approaching 70,000 – up almost 10,000 from the start of the year.
In addition, more than 4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, including 2 million who have fled their homes and are now living without basic services.
The international community has committed more than $1.5 billion to help provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by the crisis. Supporting reconstruction of critical infrastructure, such as water pumping stations, and providing essential relief supplies like medicines are among the top four priorities inside the country, along with helping people who have fled their homes and the communities hosting them.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) said today it completed its second aid delivery into north-west Syria. Seven trucks carried 1,000 tents and 15,000 blankets to the Bab al-Hawa area near the Turkish-Syrian border. The previous aid convoy to northern Syria occurred at the end of last month and delivered 2,000 tents and 15,000 blankets to the A’zaz district.
“These are complex operations and not without risk, but the humanitarian needs of the displaced civilians in these areas require action,” said High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. “The moral imperative to help is clear.”
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