UN chief calls for war crimes investigation against Syria

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday again asked the Security Council to formally request that the International Criminal Court (ICC) begin investigations of war crimes in Syria.


Such a request was blocked in 2014 by Russia and China, which have veto powers and have five times vetoed resolutions on Syria, but Ban said the council should try again.


“I ask and urge the Security Council to bring this matter to the ICC. I am urging them again,” Ban told reporters, according to the AFP news agency.


Describing the situation in Aleppo as “heartbreaking,” Ban said he was disappointed that the council failed to take action during a meeting on Saturday when two resolutions were defeated.


Russia vetoed a French-drafted text demanding an end to the aerial bombardment of Aleppo and to military flights over the city while a second measure drafted by Moscow urging a ceasefire was defeated.


“There is no such time to debate and disagree,” Ban said, adding that it was “evidently clear” that the council must “work to protect human lives.”


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