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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 08/16/2012
SYRIA
UN condemns army and rebels for war crimes against the Syrian people
Army and paramilitary militias are responsible for the Houla massacre where over 100 civilians were killed. Less serious charges against the rebels. The document, however, presents serious shortcomings because investigations were hampered. Muslim countries expel Syria from Organisation for Islamic (OIC). Catholics consecrate the country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The UN has convicted the Syrian army and rebels of war crimes. According to the report signed by 47 members of the Council for Human Rights, the military and the "shabbiha" guerrillas are responsible for the Houla massacre (Hama) which killed 100 people and other atrocities against civilians, including the bombing of a hospital in Aleppo. Its condemnation of the rebels however, was water down.  They are charged with committing crimes, but to a "lesser extent" and "less frequently" than the soldiers of the regime. The document covers the period from 15 February to 20 July  and is based on 1062 field interviews with Syrian people and refugees who have fled abroad. The data is however scarce and unreliable, in part because of the difficulty in gathering information on the field, hampered by the army and rebels.

The commission of investigation was led by Brazilian diplomat Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, and Karen Koning Abu Zayd, a U.S. citizen and former head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the United Nations agency helping Palestinian refugees. New evidence of the army's responsibility for the Houla massacre last May 25 has emerged from the report. The two diplomats emphasize that the data reinforces the position of the international community which for months has been demanding tougher action against the Syrian regime for crimes against humanity. "Both sides are guilty of war crimes - said AbuZayd - but most of the killing is the work of the Assad government." The diplomat notes that in recent months the regime has developed a genuine policy of war against his own people. The operations are increasingly large-scale and involve soldiers and police.

The escalation of violence is compounded by the progressive isolation of the regime of Bashar al-Assad by Western and Arab countries and by the refusal of the rebels to come to terms with the government. The UN report on war crimes has led the Arab states to expel Syria from Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The decision was announced today at the end of the summit with a statement of the 57 OIC members in Mecca (Saudi Arabia). The expulsion was criticized by Iran, Assad's main ally, who accused those present of violating the Charter of the Organisation. In fact, no Syrian delegate was present during the vote. Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's foreign minister, said that "cooperation would be more logical a suspension, the OIC must help the government and opposition to conduct negotiations to end the crisis."

Despite the efforts for a cease-fire achieved in recent months by Kofi Annan, former UN and Arab League special envoy, and the pope's repeated appeals for peace, the conflict between the army and rebels continues unabated. Yesterday, a violent blast struck a military barracks near the hotel housing the UN observers in Damascus. State media said the attack was the work of Free Syrian Army, which wants to undermine the regime during the visit of Valerie Amos, head of the UN Commission for Human Rights. After several weeks of relative calm, gun battles were reported in several districts of the capital, including that of Mezzeh, home to the Prime Minister's headquarters. Instead of the regime's offensive in Aleppo continues.  The army has retaken northern districts of the city until now controlled by rebels. 18 civilians were killed in the operation.

Yesterday, on the Feast of the Assumption, Msgr. Samir Nassar, Maronite archbishop of Damascus, Syria consecrated the nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The consecration took place in the cathedral on behalf of all Catholic Syrian bishops and faithful.

 


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See also
01/03/2013 SYRIA
UN: Victims of Syrian conflict top 60 thousand
09/20/2012 SYRIA - UN
Ban Ki-moon: No military solution to Syrian conflict. Political dialogue only answer
06/20/2006 SYRIA
Growing repression in Damascus, 17 top officials sacked
by Jihad Issa
10/04/2012 TURKEY - SYRIA
Turkish reprisals on Syrian border. Push for NATO intervention
by Nat da Polis
08/18/2011 SYRIA
Assad to Ban Ki-moon: the military operations are over

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

Dossier

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