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AKIPRESS.COM - The number of Syrians who have fled the three-year war in their country and registered as refugees in Lebanon has surpassed one million, The Voice of Russia reported referring to the UN refugee agency.
The UNHCR described the figure as “a devastating milestone worsened by rapidly depleting resources and a host community stretched to breaking point.”
The situation in Syria has not improved despite last month's binding UN Security Council resolution demanding an end to human rights violations, UN humanitarian affairs chief Valerie Amos said Friday.
“In fact, conflict and violence have intensified over the past four weeks, with many people killed and injured,” Amos told the council. She added that hundreds of thousands of people have been newly displaced, making it even harder to reach them.
According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's report, violence has not abated in Syria. Civilians continue to be targeted with barrel bombs, and some communities remain under siege. The report said 9.3 million Syrians are currently in need of humanitarian aid, with 3.5 million of them living in hard to reach areas.
Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Jaafari said the report was “better” than previous ones. However, he noted that Ban's report failed to distinguish between terrorist groups and innocent civilians by using the term “armed opposition,” which Jaafari said was a “very big mistake.”
In Geneva, the UN inquiry commission on Syria was tasked Friday to collect evidence of human rights violations for another year as the UN Human Rights Council decided to extend its mandate. The inquiry commission has been reporting on crimes against humanity committed not only by Syrian government forces, but also by extremist groups fighting against them, and has drawn up a confidential list of suspects for possible future trials.
In its resolution, the Geneva-based UN rights council “strongly condemns the continued gross, systematic and widespread violations of human rights and all violations of international humanitarian law by the Syrian government and affiliated militias.” It also expressed grave concern about the spread of extremist groups and made clear that it condemns violations committed by all sides in the conflict.
The resolution was adopted with support from 32 countries on the 47-member council, while China, Cuba, Russia and Venezuela opposed it and eleven countries abstained. Diplomats acknowledged that only a revived peace process and an end of the violence would stop the violations. “The Human Rights council has exhausted its possibilities when it comes to addressing Syrian human rights,” a Western diplomat said.