Friday, 22 January 2016
UN Accused Of Allowing Assad Regime To Censor Syria Aid Plan
'The United Nations altered a key humanitarian aid plan for Syria after consultation with the Assad regime, including deleting references to “besieged” areas such as Madaya where thousands of people are starving. The edits include:
The removal of all instances of the words “besieged” and “siege” in reference to areas where nearly half a million people in Syria are thought to be trapped.
The redaction of any mention of a programme to remove landmines, unexploded bombs, and missiles.
The removal of references to violations of international humanitarian law, such as aerial attacks on medical facilities and the targeting of civilian areas.
“These so-called colleagues of ours that are famed to have everyone’s best interests at heart took it upon themselves to make changes because of what the Syrian government had very obviously directed them to do. There were three or four personalities on the Damascus [UN] end that went to work on it right away. There was a lot of toning down of some of the language, they rewrote entire sections… it was a full filtering system basically and this is what caused the bilateral uproar.”
“The document turned from a humanitarian aid document to a political document after the Syrian government changes, rather than centring on what the civilians really need,” said a coordinator from another NGO, who wished to remain anonymous to protect his relationship with the UN. “I totally understand that the UN should not take sides, but at least they should be on the side of the civilians.” '