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Darayya evacuation does not comply with int’l humanitarian law - UN

Orient Net 2016-08-31 07:18:00

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The under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, said the agreement under which Darayya population was evacuated from the city on 26 and 27 August in not comply with the International Humanitarian Law.

O’Brien confirmed in a statement released on Tuesday that “The UN was not a party to this agreement, and was not informed of the evacuation until a few hours before it took place.”

“This evacuation followed four years of unrelenting siege during which children starved, people resorted to eating grass and the town was subjected to an onslaught of fighting, including aerial bombardment, and severe restrictions on freedom of movement for civilians, as well as on commercial and humanitarian goods,” he added.

Residents of Darayya called on the UN during siege years to put pressure on Assad regime to allow humanitarian and medical aid to the city and stop the systematic bombardment; however, all of their calls went astray.

“Agreements resulting in a mass evacuation of civilians after a prolonged period of besiegement do not comply with international humanitarian law and human rights law. Let us be clear, all sieges, a medieval tactic, must be lifted. This should not be through any type of agreement which results in the forced displacement of the civilian population,” O’Brien wet on in the statement.

“What happened in Darayya should not be precedent setting for other besieged areas in Syria. It is imperative that all those displaced are allowed to return voluntarily, in safety and in dignity, to their homes as soon as the situation allows it,” UN’s top aid official added.

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