File photo from alarabiya.net
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon overnight condemned the Syrian government for intensifying its killings of civilians, including women and children, in the countdown to the April 10 ceasefire deadline.
His statement in full:
“The Secretary-General strongly condemns the latest escalation of violence. He deplores the assault by the Syrian authorities against innocent civilians, including women and children, despite the commitments by the Government of Syria to cease all use of heavy weapons in population centers. The 10 April timeline to fulfill the Government’s implementation of its commitments, as endorsed by the Security Council, is not an excuse for continued killing. Such actions violate the consensus position of the Security Council, as expressed in its Presidential Statement of 5 April, for a peaceful political settlement to the Syrian crisis to be ushered by full implementation of all aspects of the Joint Special Envoy’s six-point proposal.
"The Secretary-General is gravely concerned at the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation, which is now affecting more than one million people. The latest reports of growing numbers of refugee arrivals in neighboring countries are alarming. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, H.E. Dr. Ahmet Davutoglu, informed the Secretary-General about the stream of refugees arriving in Turkey in their telephone conversation last night.
"The Syrian authorities remain fully accountable for grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. These must stop at once.
"The Secretary-General demands that the Government of Syria immediately and unconditionally cease all military actions against the Syrian people. He reiterates that it is the responsibility of the Syrian authorities to now deliver on what they have promised, and to implement, fully and unconditionally, all the commitments under the six-point plan of Joint Special Envoy Annan.”