UN CHIEF SAYS FORCED EVACUATIONS IN SYRIA MAY BE WAR CRIMES

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is warning that the forced evacuation of civilians in Syria may be a war crime, as one of the largest population transfers in the country’s six-year civil war is taking place.

Guterres said in a report to the Security Council that the United Nations has repeatedly expressed concern at local agreements between the Syrian government and opposition groups that follow the decimation of an area and result in the forced displacement of any civilians.

 
He reminded the parties to such agreements that under international humanitarian law “the forced displacement of civilians for reasons relating to the conflict” is permissible solely in order to guarantee their security or for imperative military necessity.”

 
“Forced displacement for any other reason relating to the conflict is prohibited and may constitute a war crime,” Guterres said.

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