Syrian conflict death toll exceeds 190,000, says UN

UN envoy rebukes leading powers over ‘wholly avoidable human catastrophe’

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said war crimes had been committed with total impunity on all sides in the Syrian conflict. Photograph: Ruben Sprich/Reuters

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said war crimes had been committed with total impunity on all sides in the Syrian conflict. Photograph: Ruben Sprich/Reuters

 

More than 191,000 people were killed in the first three years of Syria’s civil war, a UN report said yesterday, and its human rights envoy rebuked leading powers for failing to halt what she branded a “wholly avoidable human catastrophe”.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said war crimes were committed with total impunity on all sides in the conflict, which began with peaceful protests against president Bashar al-Assad’s rule in 2011.

“It is a real indictment of the age we live in that not only has this been allowed to continue so long, with no end in sight, but is also now impacting horrendously on hundreds of thousands of other people across the border in northern Iraq, and the violence has also spilled over into Lebanon, ” she said.

Ms Pillay, in a statement a week before she leaves office, added: “The killers, destroyers and torturers in Syria have been empowered and emboldened by the international paralysis.

“It is essential governments take serious measures to halt the fighting and deter the crimes and, above all, stop fuelling this monumental, and wholly avoidable, human catastrophe through the provision of arms and other military supplies.”

The report by her office was based on data from four rebel groups and the Syrian government. They were cross-checked to eliminate duplicates and inaccuracies.

Of the 191,369 killed so far, some 62,000 – both civilians and combatants – died in the past year. –(Reuters)