3 September, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 06/12/2012
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.

Damascus (AsiaNews) - "Syria has started its slide into hell. In addition to material destruction, the conflict is tearing at the heart. The destruction of homes, the dead and the wounded can be quantified, but the disintegration of the soul is impossible to measure," Mgr Mario Zenari told AsiaNews. "The danger of latent factional hatred exploding is there and could last decades. However, I am confident in future peace," the apostolic nuncio to Damascus said.

The violent escalation that has intensified in the past few months is affecting everyone, including children, the prelate explained. Against their will, they have become part of the conflict.

As media around the world report stories of massacres, torture and violence, children run the risk of being used by both sides.

In a just released report titled Annual Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, the United Nations presents the stories of children as young as nine used as human shields by the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

The study does not spare the opposition from criticism. The rebel Free Syrian Army is accused of recruiting hundreds of child soldiers, ranging from nine to 15 years of age.

"The death of innocent youth and their use a human shields or soldiers is an unacceptable crime," the bishop said. "The international community and the United Nations must do all they can to defend these innocent victims, exploited by the regime and rebels alike. [. . .] Sadly, beside the war on the ground, a media war is being waged so that we can't believe what anybody is saying."

However, there are signs that grassroots dialogue and reconciliation are still possible, Mgr Zenari noted. On 25 May in Homs, one of the main hate-filled battlegrounds, some Christian leaders organised a reconciliation (Musalaha in Arabic) assembly for interreligious dialogue that brought in Sunnis and Alawis.

In the past few days, the group organised various meetings with civil society groups and delegates from Damascus.

Thus far, its focus has been on finding missing or abducted people and securing their release by convincing families and factions to give up arms in favour of peaceful agreements.

"The war situation is not helpful," he said, "but we hope to extend this initiative to other Syrian cities."

Mgr Zenari is certain that dialogue can lead to real results. "The international community, especially Christian countries, must not isolate Syria. Support for the wall-to-wall clash between regime and rebels is dangerous and counterproductive." (S.C.)


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
11/11/2014 SYRIA - UNITED NATIONS
Nuncio to Damascus talks about Syrian conflict, UN optimism and the plight of an exhausted people
04/09/2015 SYRIA
Nuncio in Damascus calls Yarmouk, a disgrace unfolding amid a silent international community
07/13/2012 SYRIA
Nuncio in Damascus calls on international community to help Syria out of hellish trap
05/23/2015 SYRIA
Nuncio in Damascus: no news about Fr Mourad, not even about who abducted him
07/17/2012 SYRIA
As fighting reaches Damascus, apostolic nuncio expects dark days ahead

Editor's choices
INDIA
Card. Toppo: Learning to take care of the earth and its inhabitants from India’s tribals
by Nirmala CarvalhoThe Archbishop of Ranchi, speaks to AsiaNews ahead of the World Day of Prayer for the care of creation (1 September). The nation is home to "more than one million tribal Catholic, and in our culture we respect nature and will celebrate its gifts." Today "to be true witnesses of Christ, we must respond to the ecological crisis through a deep spiritual conversion."
VATICAN - IRAQ
Fr. Samir of Amadiya: The Pope is the voice of Iraqi refugees
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chaldean priest met Pope Francis, asking him to keep the world’s focus on Christian refugees from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain. His diocese is home to 3500 Christian families and almost half a million Yazidis who fled Islamic State violence. ISIS is not all Islam and there are Muslims who want an Iraq of coexistence. Christians might not emigrate, but remain in their own land. Aid projects for refugees: school for children, work for adults, a home for every family. An appeal to AsiaNews.
LEBANON
Muslims defend Christians’ freedom in Beirut DeclarationFreedom of religion, education and opinion are defended by quoting the Qur’ān, which is the basis for the rule of law, not a religious state. Lebanese Sunnis slam violence committed in the name of God. The full declaration is reprinted here.

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.