World Bulletin / News Desk
The death toll in Syria is likely approaching 70,000 - up almost 10,000 from the start of the year - and civilians are paying the price for the U.N. Security Council's lack of action to end the conflict, the U.N. human rights chief said on Tuesday.
Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, repeated her call for the 15-member council to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court to send a message to both parties in the conflict that there will be consequences for their actions.
The death toll in Syria is "probably now approaching 70,000," Pillay told a council debate on protection of civilians in armed conflict.
On Jan. 2, Pillay said more than 60,000 people had been killed during the revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which began nearly two years ago with peaceful protests but turned violent after Assad's forces tried to crush the demonstrations.
"The lack of consensus on Syria and the resulting inaction has been disastrous and civilians on all sides have paid the price," she said. "We will be judged against the tragedy that has unfolded before our eyes."
World powers are divided on how to stop the escalating violence in Syria and the Security Council is unlikely to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which is not an official U.N. body.
Permanent Security Council members Russia and China have acted as Syria's protector on the council by repeatedly blocking Western efforts to take stronger U.N. action - such as sanctions - against the Syrian government to try to end the war.Last Mod: 13 Şubat 2013, 09:09