UN humanitarian boss wants to visit Syria

2012-02-22 22:30

New York - UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos is to ask the Syrian government for permission to visit to assess the growing crisis in the country, a UN spokesperson said on Wednesday.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has told Amos to go to Syria "to assess the humanitarian situation and renew the call for urgent humanitarian access," UN deputy spokesperson Eduardo del Buey told reporters.

No date has yet been set for a visit and officials were not able to say whether Amos had the green light from President Bashar Assad's government to go there. But the spokesperson added: "It is a humanitarian mission, we expect the Syrian government will respond positively."

Amos would be the most senior UN official to go to Syria if the visit goes ahead.

At least 7 600 people have been killed in 11 months of protests against Assad, according to Syrian rights groups, and the United Nations has highlighted fast deteriorating conditions for the civilian population.

  • Fred - 2012-02-23 07:03

    It's absolutely shocking what Assad and his cronies are doing. They're actually trying to crush the civilian demands for the right to vote and greater freedoms, notwithstanding what happened to Gaddafi, and what happened in Tunisia, Egypt and now Yemen. Shockingly stubborn, arrogant, heartless and ultimately stupid. They will not get away with it. And Russia and China stand by allowing this to happen. The freer world is on tender-hooks, a knife-edge, champing at the bit to get involved, do whatever they can to stop Assad from his killing, torture and detentions. Instead Russia and China give him a license to kill. The value systems of Russia and China are so different to the freer world. Their regimes have killed tens of millions (no exaggeration) of their people, tens of millions in oppressive domination and control. This is sickening.

      Matthew Nowicki - 2012-02-23 08:45

      Rararara freer world is awesome rarara. Russia and china are evil rarara. Please wake up Fred, use the internet and open your mind.

      Michael - 2012-02-23 10:45

      Ranting again Freddie boy! Did it not make you sick to see the many thousands killed and more who continue to be killed in Iraq , Afghanistan etc. as a result of your beloved western governments? If you are not a hypocrite, then you must be constantly ill! Getting to the subject of this article, would it not have been better for these useless UN officials to have engaged themselves properly a year ago, instead of sitting in New York wringing their hands and condemning without having any facts?

      BA - 2012-02-23 13:40

      Michael the UN can't get involved because Russia and China vetoed the resolution. So what is your point?

      BA - 2012-02-23 13:43

      Matthew why can you not give credit and criticism where it is due? You may hate the West, but why this prevent you from giving valid criticism if Russia and China haved acted selfishly against the civilians of Syria?

      Fred - 2012-02-23 14:38

      You're a silly little bureaucrat Michael, without real human depth and understanding, and you lie. You know very well that the overwhelming majority of human and civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan have been caused by your heroes the remorseless suicide and car bombers, and that the freer world goes to great lengths to avoid civilian deaths, feels remorseful when this happens through their mistakes. You have a feeling-less, vengeful, petty heart. The world, including the so-called West has been engaging with the Assad regime for eleven months. He has lied to everyone, including his neighbors, killed thousands of people, maimed and detained tens of thousands more. And you have the gall, the stupidity, the ignorance to post those words here. You're a shameless human-being Michael with a small, weak heart.

      Fred - 2012-02-23 14:41

      Matthew, you're young boy who doesn't really know about the big world. I very much hope you don't have to go through what the people of Syria are to understand how wrong, utterly wrong this is, how wrong, utterly wrong the Chinese and Russian regimes are, how shallow and heartless you're being, and how much help the Syrian people need and not getting.

      Michael - 2012-02-23 14:53

      @BA that doesn't stop them from going there as special envoys, peace brokers etc which is their real role in the world, not taking sides and sitting pontificating in New york where it doesn't do any good. Neither is it the role of UN officials to sponsor SC resolutions, that's done by individual countries if you don't know how the UN is supposed to work.

      Michael - 2012-02-23 15:42

      Hahahah, Freddie your latest rant is really funny!!! You obviously have never heard of the false pretext of going to war in Iraq for example (weapons of mass destruction). For this hundreds of thousands perished Your epithet "silly little bureaucrat", I'll consider a compliment. Your problem is that you are nowhere near to the region and simply base you nonsense on your own prejudices. Your entire thesis lacks fact- for example Europe imposed its first sanctions on Syria back in April last year, this was their form of "engagement". and most of the sanctions were not against the government but against humanitarian projects, so the ordinary folk suffered. The US just continued to call for the president to resign while pretending to maintain "diplomatic relations". If you were genuine in your concern for all the casualties you would ask the same questions yourself: What failed in the strategies that were followed and what could be done now to minimize further bloodshed? But you are a school playground fighter with no insight- just "Let slip the dogs of war." We are more and more likely to see far worse bloodshed now simply because there was no engagement at a proper diplomatic level, only name calling and demands for Assad to step down. My reading is that the west anticipated a relatively easy exit as in the case of Mubarak and totally misjudged the situation. So for saying this I am "a shameless human being" -simply for calling for a better way. Tsk Tsk dear freddie!

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-02-23 16:04

      Micheal - Assad steps down and transition takes place saving thousands of lives. Simply one man standing in the way using the same excuses and might of his army on the people to retain power. His inability to relinquish power freely (like Gaddaffi) is the sole reason for conflict , this is clearly demonstated in the prelonged mass demonstrations and willingness of the people to take on the army and risk/give their lives for that purpose.

      Leon - 2012-02-23 16:50

      michael most of the time FRED is correct with his comments people like you just see the bad in the west and you will see a glass half emty and not half full.and what have you done from your side to make the world and SOUTH AFRICA a better place You can ask the majority of people in Iraq and Afghanistan and they will tell you yes we got problems like the rest of the world but we just love our freedom YES war is ugly and hopefully they can get rid of assad without a full scale war but what you see at the moment is war

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