NGOs deliver 'message to the world' on Aleppo massacre

By staff writers
December 14, 2016

NGOs operating in the besieged city of Aleppo, including a partner organisation of Christian Aid, have released a ‘message to the world’ about the unfolding massacre taking place.

It came on the same day that the UN reported civilians being "shot on the spot" by Syrian pro-government forces entering homes in eastern Aleppo.

On 12 December 2016,a staff member working for Christian Aid’s partner in Aleppo was killed during continuous shelling, which is taking place across previously rebel-held eastern Aleppo.

The civil society organisations said in their statement: “In effect, the regime is besieging around 50,000 civilians in eastern Aleppo and is practicing forms of systematic violence such as the use of bunker buster bombs and summary executions without discrimination between women, men and children.”

The group has declared that it is suspending its humanitarian operations in what it describes as an “outcry against the international community’s complicity in the massacre” taking place.

Máiréad Collins, Advocacy and Programme Officer for Syria at Christian Aid, said: “What we are witnessing in Aleppo right now is horrifying. We are seeing the massacre of innocent men, women and children in their homes and on the streets, while the world watches in a state of paralysis.

“We are witnessing the unravelling of humanity before our eyes. People are posting their final goodbyes on social media, expecting that they will now be killed by regime forces. This is unbearable.

“Christian Aid, like thousands of other NGOs and civil society organisations, call again for an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian access to civilians in besieged areas.”

Christian Aid is calling for the UK government to significantly step up its diplomatic engagement on Syria to hasten a political process for ending the nearly six-year long conflict, and prevent the deaths of even more civilians.

There is currently no access in or out of eastern Aleppo, and reports confirm that there is no food, water, medical facilities or staff. Civilians have sought sanctuary in a community centre of Christian Aid’s partner in Aleppo which lacks any access to water, food and blankets in a city which is facing sub-zero temperatures.

Christian Aid is working through trusted local organisations in Syria, and in Lebanon and Iraq, to provide vital assistance to thousands of families displaced by the crisis. The charity is supporting especially vulnerable refugees, such as women and people with disabilities, to access much needed services.

A brief ceasefire brokered by Turkey, broke down this morning (14 December). Some 50,000 civilians were believed to still be inside the small area of eastern Aleppo remaining under rebel control. The ceasefire was aimed at evacuating both rebels and civilians, but by late afternoon, no evacuations had taken place.

* Christian Aid Syrian Crisis Appeal here


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