UN official calls for immediate end to use of sexual violence by all sides as weapon of war in Syria

NEW YORK, 20th December, 2015 (WAM) -- Welcoming the UN Security Council's unanimous adoption of a blueprint for peace in Syria, a senior United Nations official has called on all sides to immediately stop using sexual violence as a tactic in the fighting tearing the country apart.

"A political solution is the only way to bring an end to the horrific human rights violations taking place in Syria, including the systematic use of sexual violence," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, said in a statement.

"Even as hope springs for peace, I reiterate my calls to all parties to the conflict in Syria to immediately refrain from the use of sexual violence which has been used as a tactic of war, a tactic of terrorism, and an instrument of torture."

Ms. Bangura issued the statement last night shortly after the council gave the UN an enhanced role in shepherding the opposing sides to talks for a political transition early next month, with a timetable for a ceasefire, a new constitution and elections, all under UN auspices.


WAM/AAMIR/Moran