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UN to Investigate Starvation in Madaya | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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UN to Investigate Starvation in Madaya

UN to Investigate Starvation in Madaya

UN to Investigate Starvation in Madaya

The United Nations is sending an investigative team to collect testimonies from Syrians amid international outrage over the hunger crisis in Madaya.

The international body’s top war crimes investigator and chairman of commission of inquiry documenting war crimes in Syria, Paulo Pinheiro, said that members of the commission are in direct contact with the town’s residents: “They have provided detailed information on shortages of food, water, qualified physicians, and medicine. This has led to acute malnutrition and deaths among vulnerable groups in the town.”

Western diplomats have also condemned the use of food as a weapon of war, with the US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, accusing the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of “grotesque starve-or-surrender tactics”.

Britain’s UN ambassador, Matthew Rycroft, said “willfully impeding relief supply and access can constitute a violation of international humanitarian law”. Legal experts said that could be construed as either a war crime or a crime against humanity, or both.

In a common matter, President of the Syrian National Coalition, Dr. Khaled Khoja, criticized in a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, the UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura’s role in the Syrian crisis, saying that he sided with the other party and that in the majority of his visits to the region, Mistura was biased in his relations between the opposition and the regime.