Fears grow for Syria amid rising violence, deepening humanitarian crisis |

Present Latest UN Dong Nhan Quyen Association-control report about the conflict nearly 11 years old At a virtual press conference in Geneva, Paulo Pinheiro, Chairman of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry into the Syrian Arab Republic, described the “devastating” impact on communities.

Half of the country has been displaced

“Hundreds of thousands of people were killed, more than half of the pre-war population – some 22 million people – had to be displaced. More than 100,000 people are missing or forcibly disappeared. Syrian cities and infrastructure have been destroyed. Today, the poverty rate in Syria is an unprecedented 90%; 14.6 million people in Syria depend on humanitarian aid.

In Syria’s northwest, many Syrians forced out of their homes “are still living in flimsy tents, trapped in snow, rain, mud,” Pinheiro continued, before emphasizing that ” Some actors seem to spend more energy preventing aid from reaching them, than facilitating it.”

Although areas of Syria are no longer the subject of active fighting, communities are still caught between the warring parties and exploited by armed elements, Pinheiro said.

In the abyss

He added: “Make no mistake that violence against civilians continues across the country, from bombardment in the northwest, north and northeast, to targeted murder, detention and torture. against the law… These are the abysses that the Syrian people must face.”

According to the report, in the period from July to December 2021, there are increased shelling in the northwest of the country and skirmishes between the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) and the Syrian Democratic Forces in the northeast.

The Committee noted “serious violations of fundamental human rights and international humanitarian law by the parties to the conflict, including war crimes and other forms of crimes against species.” people going on.

“In Idlib and western Aleppo in the northwest, residential areas are also indiscriminately shelled from the ground by pro-government forces.”

Ukrainian food element

Previous reports by the Investigative Committee have warned of a worsening humanitarian situation across Syria because of fighting and insecurity, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 has added to concerns. Concerned that key wheat imports may now be affected, Commissioner Hanny Megally said: “We” inflation was at 140% earlier this year (and) it has picked up.

“We see that the State has begun to divide rations. We see the prices of commodities, basic commodities and fuels going up… Most of Syria’s wheat imports come from Ukraine or Russia, so we are very concerned that the war in Ukraine will have a bad impact. to Syria”.

Consider sanctions

With the Syria situation “budding on collapse”, the Trustees urged a review of the sanctions imposed on Syria on a country-by-country basis.

“Sanctions… should facilitate humanitarian assistance (but) this doesn’t really work,” said Megally, who warned that many countries are so afraid of violating sanctions that they have practices “excessive compliance,” leaving Syrian communities deprived of the essentials. goods.

Pinheiro said the findings from the Investigative Committee’s latest report included 14 attacks “by Syrian and Russian forces in northwestern Syria”.

“In the past few months, many children have died, including on their way to school; and the last functional medical center in Jabal al Zawiya failed to function. ”

Conditions of festering in Al-Hol

Long-standing concerns remain about the detention of tens of thousands of women and children in the Al Hol camp, believed to be the families of ISIL veterans, in northeastern Syria.

Commissioner Lynn Welchman of the notorious camp complex in northeastern Syria said: “Conditions in Al Hol are absolutely appalling, the number of children and other numbers mostly women being detained and interned there. “.

“It’s a scary, humane-wise and secure situation. And that’s one of the things we care most about what happened… In some cases, it can at least be resolved by third countries, who can get their citizens back. , along with their children. ”

A child carries winter clothes distributed by UNICEF in the Al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria.

© UNICEF / Delil Souleiman

A child carries winter clothes distributed by UNICEF in the Al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria.

The Commission of Inquiry has repeatedly called on Member States of the United Nations to repatriate nationals who have participated in the conflict in Syria.

“The inhabitants of the camp are always at risk of being injured, killed or trafficked. More than 90 murders and 40 attempted murders have occurred in Al Hol alone in the past year,” said Mr. “We are echoing our call to Member States to bring home their women and children from the camps.”

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