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SLUG: 2-287623 U-N/Civilians in Conflict (L)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=03/15/02

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=U-N/CIVILIANS IN CONFLICT(L)

NUMBER=2-287623

BYLINE=JAMES DONAHOWER

DATELINE=UNITED NATIONS

CONTENT=

INTRO: At an open meeting of the U-N Security Council today (Friday) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, Syrian Ambassador Mikhail Wehbe accused the council of being all talk and no action. James Donahower reports from the United Nations.

TEXT: Mr. Wehbe unleashed his tirade after listening to the report and recommendations by Kenzo Oshima, the Undersecretary for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Mr. Wehbe said that the Security Council's "words and calls for peace have never left the doors of the chamber" and have summarily failed "to prevent the numerous carnages (sic) committed in full view of the world."

He then turned his attention to the matter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Here is an excerpt of what he said to the council, in simultaneous translation:

///WEHBE ACT - IN TRANSLATION///

What did we do in the Security Council to put an end to the advance of Israeli tanks into the Palestinian refugee camps when they crushed the bones of scores of Palestinians? Even after the adoption of the Security Council resolution, the Israeli Prime Minister gave orders to the tanks to go and reoccupy Ramallah, the headquarters of Chairman Arafat. Didn't Israeli forces mutilate the bodies of those killed in the conflict? Weren't their bodies thrown into the alleys?

///END ACT///

Mr. Wehbe demanded to know -- "are these human beings or what?"

He went on to say that "the effort that would prevent the killing one single civilian in an armed conflict will definitely have positive effects that would equal thousands of words, statements, and resolutions."

The Security Council is expected to issue a presidential statement on the protection of civilians in armed conflict next week. (Signed)

NEB/NYC/JAD/SAB



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