Geneva - The United Nations has suspended its humanitarian task force in Syria amid frustration over continued fighting in the country’s civil war.
Geneva – The United Nations has suspended its humanitarian task force in Syria amid frustration over continued fighting in the country’s civil war.
The decision was announced on Thursday by Staffan de Mistura, the special envoy for Syria.
De Mistura stopped a meeting on humanitarian access after just eight minutes, saying it made “no sense” to plan aid deliveries when they would not be let into besieged areas.
Speaking in Geneva, he said convoys had not reached surrounded towns and cities in the past month, and that the task force would remain suspended until next week as a signal to world powers.
“I insist, on behalf of the UN Secretary General, to have a 48-hour pause in Aleppo,” de Mistura said, calling for a “gesture of humanity from both sides”.
“That would require some heavy lifting not only by the two co-chairs (Russia and the US) but also those who have influence on the ground.” Aleppo city, which is divided between regime and rebel control, has been at the epicentre of continued battles and bombing despite successive attempts at ceasefires.
Bashar al-Assad’s forces and his Russian allies say they are targeting “terrorists” but humanitarian groups have reported hundreds of civilian deaths.