Aid agencies: Fragmented opposition, Syrian government both hamper aid

By REUTERS
September 20, 2013 19:34




GENEVA - Aid workers are having to negotiate with an increasing number of rebel sub-factions to organize delivery of aid to Syrian civilians, while the government continues to deny access to many areas, severely hampering their work, agencies said on Friday.

Bringing supplies from the capital to the divided northern city of Aleppo - a distance of 355 kms - is slow and fraught, said Pierre Kraehenbuehl, director of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) operations worldwide.

"When colleagues of ours travel from Damascus to Aleppo it is something between 50 and 60 checkpoints on the way. This is what you have to deal with," he told a news conference in Geneva.

"Therefore it multiplies the number of people that you need to talk to on the ground, from a variety of groups, everything from organized armed forces across to loosely structured non-state groups, rebel groups, but also of course the criminal actors," he said.

"... there is very strong fragmentation on the opposition side and you have multiplicity of groups, sometimes even disagreement within the same group, so that you have to negotiate with several factions within the same opposition group."


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