UN team denied access to Syria (Straits Times)

UNITED NATIONS – A UN mission to evaluate humanitarian conditions in Daraa, where hundreds are said to have been killed in a Syrian government crackdown, has not been allowed to enter the country, a top UN official said on Tuesday.

‘We have not managed to get an access for the mission,’ said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos

‘We will continue to push for access; it’s very important that we have a sense of what is going on,’ she said.

The United Nations said in early May that Syria agreed to let a UN team visit Daraa after UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon appealed directly to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

Ban also urged Assad to cooperate with a UN Human Rights Council inquiry into the clampdown on protests. But the UN team has yet to be allowed entry.

According to Syrian officials, ‘this is a domestic situation which the Syrian authorities feel that they have themselves the capacity to deal with’, she said. — AFP

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