Inquiry extended for Syria

Sept. 28, 2012 at 12:05 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- The U.N. Human Rights Council voted to extend the mandate for a commission of inquiry on the alleged abuses perpetrated during the Syrian civil war.

The council voted Friday to extend the mandate for the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria. The commission, set up last September, issued a report this month stating the conflict in Syria has taken a grave turn.

The council, in a resolution, said it condemned massacres carried out by Syrian forces and the pro-government Shabbiha military. All parties to the conflict, however, are called on to put an end to the violence.

China, Cuba and Russia voted against the resolution. The Syrian representative to the United Nations accused the council of making libelous statements against Damascus.

An estimated 18,000 people have died in Syria as a result of fighting that began in March 2011. Chairman of Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bakir Izetbegovic told the U.N. General Assembly the crisis in Syria was reminiscent of the massacre at Srebrenica, where 8,000 Bosnian men and boys were slain when Bosnian Serb forces overran a U.N.-administered safe haven in 1995.

"This is revolting and morally reprehensible, but so is our collective failure to stop it," he said of the Syrian conflict. "Once again, we are idly standing by while a human tragedy of dramatic proportions is unfolding before our eyes."

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