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UN chief stresses importance of bringing to justice those responsible for war crimes in Syria

September 29, 2013, 8:38 UTC+3
Both the government forces and the opposition are suspected of committing war crimes during the Syrian conflict that has been going since the spring of 2011
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UNITED NATIONS, September 29 (Itar-Tass) - At a meeting with head of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NCR) Ahmad al-Jarba, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stressed the importance of bringing to justice those responsible for war crimes committed during 2.5 years of the conflict in Syria.

“He stressed the paramount importance of embarking on serious dialogue as soon as possible, as well as the need to ensure accountability for war crimes,” the UN press service reported.

“He underlined the suffering of the Syrian people on all sides, as a result of the conflict, and also the hardship of the neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees,” the press service said.

Both the government forces and the opposition are suspected of committing war crimes during the Syrian conflict that has been going since the spring of 2011. A special commission formed under the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) is investigating the facts of abuse.

In mid-September, the HRC commission presented another latest report on a “dramatic increase in the number of crimes,” committed in the north of Syria by armed rebels with the active participation of foreign mercenaries. In particular, the report gives data on widespread killings of the government forces’ soldiers and massacres of peaceful civilians in villages near Latakia, inhabited by Alawites. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad belongs to this community.

In addition, at the meeting, “The Secretary-General welcomed Mr. al-Jarba’s commitment to send a delegation to the Geneva Conference, and urged the National Coalition to reach out to other opposition groups and agree on a representative and united delegation,” the UN press service said.

On Friday, after talks with the foreign ministers of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, Ban Ki-moon announced that it was planned to hold a second peace conference on Syria in mid-November.

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