UN aid chief urges Syria sanctions, Jolie pleads for refugee help

By REUTERS
April 24, 2015 18:59
1 minute read.

 
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The United Nations aid chief urged the Security Council on Friday to impose an arms embargo and sanctions in Syria for violations of humanitarian law as special envoy Angelina Jolie pleaded with council members to visit millions of Syrian refugees.

The aid official, Valerie Amos, also appealed to the council to mandate the United Nations' commission of inquiry on Syria to specifically investigate besieged areas, the militarization of schools and hospitals and attacks on those facilities.

The United Nations says about 440,000 people are besieged in Syria's civil war, now in its fifth year. Of those, 167,500 are trapped by government forces, 228,000 by Islamic State militants and the rest by other armed groups.

Actress and director Jolie, a special envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, appealed for unity and accountability for some 4 million Syrian refugees. She has made 11 visits to Syrian refugees in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Malta.

"We cannot look at Syria, and the evil that has arisen from the ashes of indecision, and think this is not the lowest point in the world's ability to protect and defend the innocent," Jolie told the 15-member Security Council.

"Those refugees cannot come to this council, so please, will you go to them," said Jolie, who also berated the council for failing to overcome divisions to end the war.

When asked about Jolie's planned briefing, Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari responded: "She is beautiful."

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