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UN calls for humanitarian truce in east Ukraine to let residents of 2 towns flee fighting

January 31, 2015, 1:34 UTC+3 UNITED NATGIONS
Some of the 300,000 residents of Debaltsevo and Gorlovka had managed to flee the particularly dangerous areas but many people were still blocked there by the intensity of combat operations
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© PA/ТАСС/ANASTASIA VLASOVA

UNITED NATGIONS, January 31. /TASS/. United Nations on Friday issued an appeal to the Ukrainian military and East-Ukrainian self-defence forces to sign a provisional truce that would enable people living in the cities of Gorlovka and Debaltsevo to evacuate and would give an opportunity to deliver humanitarian aid there, the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary General, Stephane Dujarric said.

He indicated that the UN humanitarian coordinator in Ukraine, Neal Walker, had called for an immediate humanitarian truce "to allow humanitarian assistance and evacuation of civilians".

"Indiscriminate shelling of civilians violates international humanitarian law and must stop," Walker was quoted by international media as saying in a statement.

Dujarric stressed the UN’s grave concern over the humanitarian situation in Debaltsevo and Gorlovka where shells have been raining down for the past several days.

According to the UN data, some of the 300,000 residents of Debaltsevo and Gorlovka had managed to flee the particularly dangerous areas but many people were still blocked there by the intensity of combat operations.

Dujarric said the UN continued getting veritable information suggesting that the positions of the military were located too close to the densely populated areas of the two cities and civilian facilities, including hospitals, schools, and shelters for the elderly.

Even one shell could inflict huge damage and bring about a heavy loss of lives among civilians there, Dujarric said.

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