Divided Security Council must send a strong message to all, he says
- Published: 09:04 July 14, 2012
United Nations: UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Friday called on the UN Security Council to take strong action to halt the Syria war, warning otherwise it would be giving “a licence for further massacres”.
Ban expressed outrage at the “horrific mass killings” in the Syrian village of Treimsa on Thursday, which he said cast “serious doubt” on President Bashar Al Assad’s commitment to an international peace plan.
“I call upon all member states to take collective and decisive action to immediately and fully stop the tragedy unfolding in Syria. Inaction becomes a licence for further massacres,” Ban said in a statement.
The UN secretary general said the divided Security Council must send “a strong message to all that there will be serious consequences” for failing to observe UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s international peace plan.
The Security Council is discussing a resolution on Syria to renew the mandate of the UN mission in the country.
Western countries want sanctions threatened if Al Assad’s forces do not halt heavy weapon attacks in 10 days. Russia has rejected any reference to sanctions.
Ban strongly condemned “the indiscriminate use of heavy artillery and shelling of populated areas, including by firing from helicopters” in the massacre on Thursday which left at least 150 dead, according to activists.The attack was a violation of Annan’s peace plan and Security Council resolutions on the conflict, Ban said. It also casts “serious doubts on President Al Assad’s recent expression of commitment” to the Annan plan.
Annan went to Damascus on Monday to meet Al Assad and try to revive efforts to halt the conflict, which activists say has left more than 17,000 dead in the past 16 months.