AFP
Last updated: 20 November, 2012

UN’s Ban fears regional battleground in Syria

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday he feared that the militarisation of the conflict in Syria could turn the country into a “regional battleground.”

“We are deeply concerned about the continued militarisation of the conflict, horrendous violations of human rights and the risk of Syria turning into a regional battleground as the violence intensifies,” Ban told reporters during a visit to Cairo.

He urged the international community to support the efforts of UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi for “an inclusive Syrian led political transition that will address the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.”

As the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate, Ban also appealed to countries “to generously contribute more to our humanitarian programmes inside Syria and in the region and to assist Syria’s neighbours in dealing with the refugee crisis.”

The Syrian conflict, which has raged since March 2011, has killed over 39,000 people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Ban was in Cairo as part of a regional visit focused on the conflict in the Gaza Strip. He will also travel to Israel and the West Bank.