UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations on Tuesday said “well over 7,500 people” have been killed in Syria during an 11-month government crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, raising its previous estimated death toll by nearly a third.
UN Under-Secretary-General for political affairs Lynn Pascoe told the UN Security Council that the firepower of the opposition forces appeared to be minimal compared to the heavy weapons being used by the Syrian army.
“While we cannot give exact casualty figures there are credible reports that the death toll now often exceeds 100 civilians a day, including many women and children. The total killed so far is certainly well over 7,500 people,” Pascoe said.
Syrian authorities on Feb. 15 put the death toll at 3,838 – 2,493 civilians and 1,345 soldiers and police officers, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Tuesday during a debate at the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in Geneva.
The last UN estimate had the death toll at over 5,400.
The outside world has proved powerless to halt the killing in Syria, where repression of initially peaceful protests has spawned an armed insurrection. Russia and China have twice used their vetoes to block any action by the UN Security Council.
“Unfortunately the international community has also failed in its duty to stop the carnage and actions and inactions to date have seemed to encourage the regime in its belief that it has impunity to carry on wanton destruction of its own civilians,” Pascoe said.
Pascoe’s comments came as France announced that there would be a third attempt by the UN Security Council to pass a resolution on Syria, this time specifically to address the humanitarian crisis.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, speaking on Swiss television on Monday night at the end of a visit to Geneva, said: “Nearly 8,000 people have been killed, including hundreds of children.”
Pascoe said about 25,000 Syrian refugees have registered with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in neighboring countries and as many as 200,000 people have been internally displaced in the country.
He described the situation as “increasingly dire” for people trapped in besieged towns, such as Homs and Hama. “According to human rights organizations more than 5,000 civilians have been prevented from fleeing by government forces,” Pascoe said.
“The humanitarian consequences of the violence have become severe. In towns affected by sustained fighting . . . their water and electricity have been cut off. Access to medical care and basic food and fuel are critically needed,” he said.
Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, now the new UN-Arab League envoy on Syria, was due to meet U.S. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on Wednesday, Pascoe said.
© Copyright (c) Reuters
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some days I feel like a rez dog,
exhausted from travel and wander
appearing out of no where to rest in the shade of my sister’s SUV
looking scrappy enough to the point where she can’t even look at me
is she dead?
the indians wonder as they walk by and stare
they rightly conclude,
For she is just a Rez dog
and we’re going back to the harbour
This is the 2012 budget for Albertans. This link is a PDF. You must have Adobe Reader to view it.
Alberta 2012 Fiscal Budget
The acceptable Indian vs. the unacceptable Indian
The Indian ghost in the assimilated shell
Haunting Olympic plaza
I am still there
Smelling the cedar that was placed there for us
Long before any of us did
What was to come
Haunting Victim, Pattison, martin
Haunting Primary Investigator, adaikin
Assimilated jail cells
Holding us in
Holding us under glass
Don’t let us slip out
Don’t let us be free
Don’t let them steal your joy he said
He warned me
I will pray for you
He spoke of the curse
Was assimilation my curse?
Or was it my true Indian-ness?
Not the right kind of Indian I guess.
Not the right kind of assimilated Indian I guess.
Not the right kind.
They have no ears to hear my words though I speak
They have no eyes to see my face though I am looking right at them
They have no hands to shake mine in fellowship
They would rather put cuffs on my hands
They burnt his.
And cut hers off completely.
They always go after the hands.
I wonder why that is?
No room for me.
No room for you Sandy.
No space to share
No space to speak
No space to sit
On a bench
With my feet up
Feeding a duck
Who was hungry
I am not the right kind.
I am the wrong kind.
The wrong kind of Indian.
Maybe they were too
All 50,000 of them
All 500 of them
Maybe WE were the wrong kind of Indian.
When will there be space?
When will there be room?
When will there be hands to shake?
Ears that hear?
Eyes that see?
Is stephen harper the right kind of Indian?
Honoured guest speaker
Or…that’s right…honored “Chief” speaker.
How come I can’t be Chief?
My name is Sarah Marie Scout.
I was born on January 14th, 1981.
If you ask my name
Are you asking to know who I am??
Who are you??