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    » 05/28/2012, 00.00

    SYRIA

    For apostolic nuncio, UN condemnation is not enough to stop the killing of the innocent



    The United Nations has to be late in condemning the barbaric slaughter of children since January. The recent of 108 people, including 49 children, is but the latest in a series. Mgr Zenari calls on the UN to support peace initiatives that Alawi, Sunni, Catholic and Orthodox religious leaders are promoting in Homs.

    Damascus (AsiaNews) - "The massacre of innocent children is an unbearable crime and casts a dark shadow on this horrible war. However, the reaction of outrage from international organisations is not enough. The United Nations must support and give voice to the initiative of Syrian communities that are trying to react to the violence in constructive ways and not with revenge," said Mgr Mario Zenari, apostolic nuncio to Damascus. Speaking to AsiaNews, he condemned the massacre of 108 people, including 49 children, between 25 and 26 May, in Houla, north of the city of Homs.

    For the prelate, the United Nations Security Council has waited too long before condemning the endless killing of innocent people in the past few months. UN sources put the number of children killed at 500 since the start of the year. "It does not matter who is the author of these massacres, the spiral of blood and violence must stop," he prelate said.

    The United Nations Security Council condemned the killing of civilians today, stressing the urgent need for an accurate inquiry into what happened. The 15-member Council blamed the Houla shelling on both sides after Russia rejected a unilateral condemnation of the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

    UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan will meet the Syrian president tomorrow to redefine the objectives of the ceasefire that came into effect on 12 April but was never respected.

    "UN observers are not doing very much," Mgr Zenari explained. "People do not expect the Kofi Anna plan to have any concrete results. They are trying to find alternative solutions by themselves."

    Catholic, Orthodox, Alawi and Sunni leaders as well as representatives of civil society groups have been meeting in recent days in Homs, the city that has come to symbolise the uprising against the regime, in order to find a non-violent solution to the conflict.

    "The aim," the nuncio said, "is to give Syrians a sign of hope, inviting them to get involved and react in a constructive and peaceful way against those who want to destroy the country,"

    These initiatives will continue in the coming days and will be proposed in other Syrian cities. (S.C.)

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    See also

    17/05/2012 SYRIA
    Syrian army shells al-Rastan as apostolic nuncio fully backs Annan plan
    The city in Homs Governatorate has been under siege for months. Mgr Zenari highlights the cycle of violence that is sweeping across the country. The prelate urges the UN and the international community to push for the peace plan despite the fighting and violence.

    12/06/2012 SYRIA
    Nuncio in Damascus: Syria sliding into hell, children used as human shields
    Mgr Mario Zenari, nuncio in Syria, describes the human devastation caused by the war. There is the danger that factional hatreds might last decades. Christian, Alawi and Sunni leaders in Homs propose dialogue and reconciliation. UN report blames regime and rebels of torturing children.

    09/04/2015 SYRIA
    Nuncio in Damascus calls Yarmouk, a disgrace unfolding amid a silent international community
    Shelled by government forces, the Palestinian refugee camp has fallen to the Islamic State group. Long ignored, this was a tragedy “for all to see,” said Mgr Zenari. “Poor civilians have paid the price of factional fighting,” he added. Despite difficulties, the Church has tried to help. Not only Syria, but the whole Middle East “is burning.”

    13/07/2012 SYRIA
    Nuncio in Damascus calls on international community to help Syria out of hellish trap
    Mgr Mario Zenari pleads with the UN Security Council in New York. The situation can only get worse if the international community remains divided. Some 200 people die in another massacre in Tremseh (Hama).

    13/03/2015 SYRIA
    Nuncio to Syria has no news about abducted Christians, but is "confident" in a positive outcome
    Mgr Zenari told AsiaNews that the Islamic State group still holds about 200 Christians. He regrets that a previous release attempt failed because of an ambush that forced the Jihadists to retreat. For the prelate, there is still enough "good will to find a solution."



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