UN chief pleads for Ramadan truce in Syria
More than 90,000 have died in two years of hostilities
Picture: Abo Al-Nur Sadk/AFP
Louis Charbonneau for Reuters/Christian Science Monitor International
July 9, 2013
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed on Monday for forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebel fighters in Syria to put down their weapons during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
In a statement, Ban said Ramadan is one of the four months on the Islamic calendar during which fighting is supposed to cease.
"For the sake of the Syrian people, therefore, I would like to call on all parties in Syria to respect this religious obligation for at least, at a minimum, one month," Ban said on the eve of Ramadan, which begins on Tuesday.
"I am calling for every military unit of the regular army and the Free Syrian Army, for every person holding a gun, to stop fighting and offer this month of peace as a collective present to their people – and to do so across Syria," he said.
For more than two years, Assad's forces and rebels determined to oust him have been locked in a conflict that has escalated into an increasingly sectarian civil war. The United Nations estimates that at least 90,000 people have died since the uprising began in March 2011.
Source: Christian Science Monitor
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