360° Coverage : Using chemical weapons an international crime: Ban

Using chemical weapons an international crime: Ban

United Nations, Aug 20 (IANS) The use of chemical weapons in a conflict by any side under any circumstances would constitute an international crime, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said, after UN experts began a probe into the alleged use of such weapons in Syria.

Aug 20 2013, 3:44am CDT | by IANS

Using chemical weapons an international crime: Ban
Photo Credit: Handout, Getty Images

United Nations, Aug 20 — The use of chemical weapons in a conflict by any side under any circumstances would constitute an international crime, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said, after UN experts began a probe into the alleged use of such weapons in Syria.

The secretary general entrusted Swedish expert Ake Sellstrom, former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, with the task of setting up a fact-finding team in March to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict, which has lasted for more than two years.

The UN decision was made at the request of the Syrian government.

At least 25 people were killed and 130 wounded March 19 when armed men fired a rocket believed to be loaded with chemical materials at Khan al-Asal in Aleppo province.

Any user of chemical weapons in Syria, if confirmed, "must be held accountable", Xinhua quoted Ban as saying Monday.

"Let me state again clearly that, if confirmed, the use of chemical weapons by any side under any circumstances must be held accountable and would constitute an international crime," the UN chief said.

"Anyone responsible must be held accountable," he said.

Ban said that as agreed with the Syrian government, the group would conduct its activities in the country for up to 14 days and that could be extended upon mutual consent.

He also urged full access for the expert team to the sites where the chemical weapon attacks allegedly occurred.

"As I have made clearly many times, in order to credibly establish the facts, the (UN) mission must have full access to the sites of the alleged incidents," Ban said.

"This includes access to the reported sites to undertake the necessary analyses and to collect samples."

"It also includes interviews and examination of witnesses, victims, attending medical personnel as well as the conduct of post-mortem examinations," he added.

The Syrian government and the opposition have accused each other of using chemical weapons but both have denied it.

IANS

Source: IANS

 
 
 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Thailand Flagged from ICAO on Aviation Safety
Thailand Flagged from ICAO on Aviation Safety
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has given Thailand a red-flag for not handling safety concerns properly. But how can the nation rebuild a reputation?
 
 
Hillary Clinton looks for allies and harnesses in 2016 presidential campaign
Hillary Clinton looks for allies and harnesses in 2016 presidential campaign
Hillary Clinton launched her 2016 presidential campaign on June 13 in New York City to a packed crowd. But did the politician promise anything new, or is this a rehash of 2008?
 
 
Hundreds of Migrant Bodies Found in Malaysian Mass Graves
Hundreds of Migrant Bodies Found in Malaysian Mass Graves
Contrary to previous official Malaysian statements, human traffickers and migrant bodies have been discovered near detention camps. International pressure mounts as the truth is revealed to the world.
 
 
Hillary Clinton Talks SCOTUS Nominees
Hillary Clinton Talks SCOTUS Nominees
The presidential-hopeful told a group of supports what she's looking for in potential SCOTUS nominees.