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Home  >  News  >  Churches and NGOs in Syria Appeal

News

Churches and NGOs in Syria Appeal

Monday May 2

The Church of Scotland is among more than 80 faith groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who have written an open letter calling on the US and Russia to save the ceasefire in Syria.

Friday's letter to presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin warns of escalating violence in Syria, costing a life every 25 minutes in the previous 48 hours.

It continues: "We cannot stand by in the face of this catastrophe. Global NGOs and faith groups demand that President Barack Obama and President Vladimir Putin immediately use their personal diplomatic engagement to save what remains of the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) agreement.

"In recent days, unacceptable violations of Syria's CoH and the rules of international law have threatened to doom the initiative in its entirety. Numerous strikes on civilians, including several targeting medical facilities and rescue workers, have killed dozens. This must stop now. Just weeks ago, the US and Russia helped secure the CoH, providing a glimpse of what a respite from violence means for people in Syria. Fewer people died in the first month of Syria's ceasefire than at almost any other time since the war began. For many, it was the first time in years that they could walk the streets without fear. This was a first glimpse of hope. That hope now hangs in the balance. Syria is yet again on the brink of humanitarian disaster and the need for action is urgent.

"President Obama and President Putin: these atrocities are happening on your watch. Please heed the call of the UN Special Envoy to Syria to take urgent steps to rescue Syria's cessation of hostilities and end attacks on civilians. Please act now to keep hope alive for Syrians."

The letter is signed by the Church of Scotland, Lord Bishop of Coventry on behalf of the Church of England, the Methodist Church in Britain, Christian Aid, Tearfund, the Edinburgh-based charity Mercy Corps and 79 other organisations.


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