World UN calculates new Syria war death toll

18:06  24 september  2021
18:06  24 september  2021 Source:   bbc.com

Drivers risk losing vehicles as Queensland claws back $150m in fines for unpaid road tolls

  Drivers risk losing vehicles as Queensland claws back $150m in fines for unpaid road tolls Musician Michael Dutton is still paying off $1,500 in charges after he drove to Brisbane to play gigs three years ago. His debt is among more than 778,000 toll debts the fines registry is trying to claw back.The State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) is trying to claw back outstanding charges and fines amassed from 778,000 road trips that occurred up to July, with some of the debts having been on the books for years.

At least 350,209 people have been killed in 10 years of war in Syria, the UN says in its first official death toll since 2014.

a young child wearing a hat: Many deaths may never be accounted for, the report says © Reuters Many deaths may never be accounted for, the report says

Its human rights chief cautioned the figure is "certainly an under-count of the actual number of killings".

A leading but unofficial UK-based monitoring group recently put the death toll at over 606,000.

The war in Syria has largely wound down with just a single province now controlled by jihadists and rebels.

At its height in 2015, armed groups had taken over large swathes of the country, but the intervention of Russia in an aerial campaign on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad turned the tide in his favour.

660K white flags are planted for COVID victims on the National Mall

  660K white flags are planted for COVID victims on the National Mall DC artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg and her team planted 666,624 flags to begin their art installation honoring the victims of COVID-19. Volunteers will add more as the death toll rises.Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg, a Washington DC artist, and her team of volunteers hand-placed the flags to create the poignant exhibit across 20 acres of land in the center of the nation's capital.

The fighting began in March 2011 when opposition supporters took up arms after security forces opened fire on demonstrators demanding more freedoms under President Assad's authoritarian rule.

The UN officially stopped counting deaths in the conflict in January 2014 because, it said, it had become impossible to accurately document the constantly growing toll, relying as it had been on the co-operation of a diminishing number of non-governmental groups on the ground to do so.

In March this year, when the war reached its tenth year, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) requested the human rights office resume trying to determine the number of people killed.

Reporting to the HRC on Friday, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said "complex and painstaking work" had established that 350,209 identified individuals - civilians and combatants - had been killed between March 2011 and March 2021.

War of terror: Legal colonialism reincarnated

  War of terror: Legal colonialism reincarnated Did 9/11 really open a ‘new’ chapter in American history?Commentators mourn America’s “loss of innocence” – erasing the blood of centuries of settler colonisation, imperial expansionism, and enslavement from the United States’ historical slate.

Video: Kabul strike killed 10 civilians in 'tragic mistake' -Pentagon (Reuters)

Ms Bachelet said of those deaths, women accounted for about eight per cent, as did children.

"Behind each recorded death was a human being, born free and equal, in dignity and rights," she said. "We must always make victims' stories visible, both individually and collectively, because the injustice and horror of each of these deaths should compel us to action."

  • Why has the Syrian war lasted 10 years?

Ms Bachelet pointed out that the headline figure was not "a complete number of conflict-related killings... [but] indicates a minimum verifiable number, and is certainly an under-count of the actual number of killings".

She said records with only partial information had been excluded from the toll, indicating a wider number of killings which have yet to be documented, along with many other cases where victims have been killed without a trace.

BBC correspondent Bethany Bell says establishing the true scale of deaths is a complicated and difficult undertaking, but UN officials say it is crucial to enable people to seek accountability.

It is also part of efforts to account for the huge number of missing people, a cause of anguish and uncertainty for families and communities, she adds.

Earlier this year, UN investigators said tens of thousands of civilians were still unaccounted for after being detained arbitrarily during the war.

Thousands more had been tortured or killed in custody, according to their report detailing alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.

You may also be interested in:

US will not normalise or upgrade diplomatic ties with Syria .
Washington suspended its diplomatic presence in Syria in 2012 and then placed sanctions on President al-Assad’s gov’tThe comments came in response to questions from the Reuters news agency on whether Washington was encouraging and supporting a rapprochement between Jordan and Syria after Jordan fully reopened its main border crossing with Syria on Wednesday.

usr: 0
This is interesting!