Silent War Chapter 153
The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire in Syria. The move comes as the Syrian government and its allies press an offensive in the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta.
The resolution, which was put forward by Sweden and Kuwait, demands that all parties «cease hostilities without delay» for 30 days «to enable the delivery of humanitarian aid and services, and medical evacuations of sick and wounded civilians.»
It also calls on all parties to «comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law.»
The resolution was adopted just hours after Syrian government forces announced they had seized more than half of Eastern Ghouta. The offensive has killed more than 1,000 civilians since it began on February 18.
The Security Council has been deadlocked for years over the conflict in Syria, with Russia and China vetoing numerous resolutions that would have condemned the Syrian government.
In a statement after the vote, Sweden’s ambassador to the UN, Olof Skoog, said the council had «finally» taken action to stop the «tragedy» unfolding in Eastern Ghouta.
«It is high time that we do something to protect the civilians and to make sure that humanitarian aid can reach those in need,» he said.
Kuwait’s ambassador, Mansour Al-Otaibi, said the resolution was a «first step» and called on all sides to implement it «immediately and without conditions.»
The resolution was put forward after days of negotiations between the US and Russia, which ended with a compromise text that removed a demand for an immediate ceasefire and instead called for a 30-day truce.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the resolution was not perfect, but it was a «meaningful» step that could save lives.
«The suffering of the Syrian people must end,» she said.
The conflict in Syria
The conflict in Syria began in 2011 with the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. The uprising turned into a civil war that has killed more than 400,000 people and displaced millions.
The Syrian government has been accused of numerous human rights abuses, including the use of chemical weapons, and has been condemned by the UN.
The offensive in Eastern Ghouta, which began on February 18, has been one of the deadliest episodes of the conflict. Government forces have been accused of using chemical weapons, and the UN has described the situation as a «humanitarian disaster.»
The enclave, which is home to 400,000 people, has been under siege by the Syrian government for more than five years. civilians have been living in «deplorable» conditions, with little access to food, water, or medical aid.
The UN has been trying to broker a deal for a ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid, but the Syrian government has so far refused to allow aid convoys into the enclave.