News / Middle East

UN Chief to Syria's Assad: Stop Killing Your Own People

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, speaks during the opening session of a conference on democracy in the Arab world, in Beirut, Lebanon, January 15, 2012.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, speaks during the opening session of a conference on democracy in the Arab world, in Beirut, Lebanon, January 15, 2012.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a call to Syria's embattled President Bashar al-Assad Sunday to stop killing his own people.

In a keynote address at a conference in Lebanon focused on democracy in the Arab world, Ban said "the path of repression is a dead end."

Ban told those in attendance in Beirut that the Arab world's revolutions show that people there are no longer content with one-man rule.  

"From the very beginning of the year's, last year's revolutions, from Tunisia through Egypt and beyond, I called on leaders to listen to their people, listen to the genuine aspirations of their people, what they need, and what are their voices," he said.

"Some did and benefited; some didn't, and today they are reaping the whirlwind. Today, I say again to President Assad of Syria: Stop the violence.  Stop killing your own people. The path of repression is a dead end. The lessons of the past year are eloquent and clear. The winds of change will not cease to blow. The flame ignited in Tunisia will not be dimmed."

He also called for an end to Israeli "occupation" in the Arab world, saying settlements - new and old - are "illegal."

Meanwhile, Syria's officials SANA news agency said Assad has granted a general amnesty for crimes committed since the outbreak of the 10-month uprising against his rule.  No other details were given.

The United Nations says more than 5,000 people have died in Syria since the uprising began last March.  Meanwhile, Syrian authorities blame what they call "armed terrorists" for killing some 2,000 members of the security forces.

In an interview to be broadcast later Sunday in the United States on the television network CBS, the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, proposes sending Arab troops to Syria to halt the bloodshed in that country.

The emir is the first Arab leader to publicly support Arab military intervention in Syria, where protesters are demanding President Assad's resignation.  The emir said the Arab League observer mission, sent to Syria on December 26, has made mistakes, and that U.N. assistance is needed to improve the monitoring of the Damascus government.

In the latest clashes Saturday, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said several people were killed in different parts of the country, including a 13-year-old boy and a 27-year-old man in the flashpoint city of Homs.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid