With shock and consternation India Peace Centre is following the new outrage in the Syrian war taking place in East Ghouta. Without any doubt, the happenings can only be described as brutal and reckless murders of civilians living in the region close to Damascus.
Within only one week more than 500 civilians, including 150 children, lost their lives, 2500 people have been injured by bombs randomly falling from the sky. Despite the lack or rather absence of necessary items as water, food and medicine, hospitals as well as schools and residential houses have been targeted. The happenings in East Ghouta can be seen as a new climax of violence in a war that is outstanding in its human rights violations as well as war crimes. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that is a monitoring group based in the UK, called the first two days of the offensive (20.-21.02.2018) the most deadliest 48 hours since the chemical attack that took place in Ghouta at the 21st September 2013.
India Peace Centre is highly concerned about the new developments in the Syrian conflict. As Unicef stated earlier before, there are no words left to explain the suffering of the children. The least appropriate explanation is military operation. Current reports about the use of chemical weapons in the region just add to the list of multiple violations of human rights and war crimes.
From the perspective of India Peace Centre, these atrocities give proof to the fact, that a solution based on military intervention of any side will in no case bring a sustainable solution for the country in the way of ensuring peace and stability. Therefore, India Peace Centre calls upon all international leaders of external forces being involved in this conflict to withdraw from the war ground. This will be the only way to find a solution in Syria. The Geneva talks facilitated by the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Mr de Mistura have to be carried on and enlarged. Only in that way the confronting parties of the civil war can come to an agreement and first steps to a new Syrian Government can be realized. Based on consent and the principles of non-violence, the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces can be the only external party to ensure the safety of civilians.
Furthermore, until that is being achieved, the international community must work together to end the war and stop the unnecessary suffering and dying of civilians. Ceasefires and humanitarian corridors need to be implemented and finally followed by everybody, to ensure a minimum of safety for people living in the areas of war ground. Military targeting of schools, hospitals and residential complexes has to stop immediately. Medication, food, water and further daily needs supplies have to be available at any time and independent, international observers must be granted access without restriction. The atrocities happening in Syria are an affront to all the principles of the United Nations. Instead of dividing and wasting time with useless accusations, we must evoke the spirit of freedom and unity in everybody.
The inter-religious India Peace Centre has always been a place of weaving peace under the principles of promoting dialogue and mutuality with a spirit of ever widening understanding. Therefore, we want to remind the international leaders of their responsibility towards their own people, and also for all people living on this one planet. We as a people should focus on what unites us and work together to ensure freedom, peace and equality for each and every one of us.
India Peace Centre expresses its solidarity with every peace activist active in the fight to stop the unnecessary killing and want to express its deepest respect for every attempt that has been done.