Stop killing your people: Ban tells Assad
Beirut, January 15, 2012
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad on Sunday to halt violence against a 10-month uprising and said the 'old order' of dynasties and one-man rule in the Arab world was coming to an end.
'Today, I say again to President Assad of Syria: Stop the violence. Stop killing your people. The path of repression is a dead end,' Ban told a conference in Lebanon on political reform.
The UN says more than 5,000 people have been killed in Syria's crackdown on protests which erupted against Assad in March, inspired by other uprisings that toppled three Arab leaders last year.
Syria says 2,000 members of the government forces have been killed by 'armed terrorists'.
'From the very beginning of the ... revolutions, from Tunisia through Egypt and beyond, I called on leaders to listen to their people,' Ban said. 'Some did, and benefited. Others did not, and today they are reaping the whirlwind.'
On reform in the region, Ban said the UN was supporting change in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen. 'We are firmly committed to help Arab countries through this transition, by every means,' he said. - Reuters