UN investigative panel urges revival of shaky ceasefire in Syria

September 6, 2016 8:30 pm

A handout picture released by ’s official SANA agency on September 5, 2016 shows people and security forces gathering at the site of a blast targeting the Arzuna bridge in a government-held area outside the Syrian city of Tartus.

A investigative panel has called on all parties involved in the deadly conflict in Syria to revitalize a faltering nationwide ceasefire in the violence-wracked Arab state.
The Commission of Inquiry on Syria, which is tasked with investigating human rights violations in the Arab country, made the request in its 12th report published on Tuesday.
The cessation of hostilities brokered by the US and Russia went into effect in Syria on February 27. However, fighting still rages on in some parts of Syria, particularly around the city of Aleppo. The truce does not apply to the terrorist groups of Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch formerly known as al-Nusra Front.
The February truce offered a “glimmer of hope” to civilians in Syria, but just a month later, fighting and indiscriminate attacks on residential areas increased, the commission said.
“The cessation of hostilities agreement brought a welcome respite for civilians that lasted all too briefly,” the commission added, emphasizing that “the sense of hope engendered earlier this year must be revitalized.”
The UN panel further called for more support for UN Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, who is trying to restart UN-brokered negotiations aimed at resolving the crisis in the Middle Eastern country.
It further urged an end to the numerous sieges in Syria, which have trapped approximately 600,000 people in dire conditions.

Syrian children walk past an empty grocery market in the city of Aleppo on July 10, 2016. ©AFP

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. Over the past few months, the Takfiri militants active in the Arab country have suffered major setbacks as the Syrian army has managed to liberate several areas.
According to De Mistura, more than 400,000 people have been killed in the crisis in Syria. The UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.
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