‘Aleppo now synonym for hell,’ Ban warns in final press conference as UN chief

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Opposition fighters fire a starting shell from a hell-cannon toward the Syrian Army, in Aleppo on December 2, 2014. File photo: Karam Almasri/Nur

Geneva (UN) – In his last press conference as United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon on Sunday warned that “the carnage in Syria remains a gaping hole in the global conscience.”

“Aleppo is now a synonym for hell,” Ban said at UN Headquarters in New York, bidding farewell to the UN press corps.

“We have collectively failed the people of Syria. Peace will only prevail when it is accompanied by compassion, justice and accountability for the abominable crimes we have seen,” he said. 

“The carnage in Syria remains a gaping hole in the global conscience,” Ban added. 

As the Syrian crisis enters its sixth year, civilians continue to bear the brunt of a conflict marked by unparalleled suffering, destruction and disregard for human life.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 13.5 million people require humanitarian assistance, including 4.9 million people in need trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas, where they are exposed to grave protection threats.

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