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UN Secretary-General repeats call for ceasefire in Syria

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] on Monday expressed disappointment [UN News Centre report] with an apparent lack of respect for a ceasefire request in Syria, saying that the fighting must stop for the crisis to end. While the secretary-general reminded the international community that the UN is doing everything it can to bring about a political solution in Syria, he again called on the country's warring parties to stop fighting immediately. Similarly, Ban also repeated a call to the UN Security Council [official website] and all parties to support the mission of Lakhdar Brahimi, the Joint Special Representative of the UN and the League of Arab States, who is also working on a political solution to the crisis in Syria. The Security Council resoundingly supported Ban's original ceasefire plea [press release] last week.

The Syrian government has been in conflict with the Free Syrian Army [official website] since 2011, and the international community has become increasingly concerned about the violence. Ban and League of Arab States Secretary-General Nabil El Araby [official website] originally called for a ceasefire [JURIST report] between the conflict's parties last Friday, notably in light of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha. Also last week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official website] called on the international community to work to bring an end to the Syrian conflict [JURIST report]. Her statement came after Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] reported earlier this month that the Syrian government was using cluster bombs [JURIST report] against opposition forces. In September, UN investigators reported [JURIST report] that the number and frequency of human rights violations committed by both sides of the conflict were increasing rapidly.

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