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Statement: Syria cessation

Friday, 12 February 2016

In response to today’s announcement of a new cessation of hostilities in Syria, Kitty Arie, Save the Children’s Director of Advocacy, Policy and Campaigns, says:

“Children in Syria have been bombed, starved and forced from their homes for nearly five years. We hope that today’s announcement of a planned cessation of hostilities is the first sign of light at the end of a very dark tunnel, but it needs all parties to live up to the commitments they have made on paper. In recent days we have seen tens of thousands of people forced from their homes in Aleppo and Dara’a by a surge in violence and increased airstrikes, joining more than 11 million Syrians who have already been displaced. Every day that passes costs more lives, so the cessation must be implemented immediately.

“We have also seen the noose tightening around besieged areas in the last few months, where children are at risk of starvation just a few miles from warehouses of food. The world leaders meeting in Munich said aid deliveries to these areas could begin as early as today, so we will be monitoring closely to see that humanitarian relief consistently reaches everyone who needs it.

“Ultimately, it is only a long-term peace agreement that can finally end the enormous suffering of the last five years. Today’s announcement is an opportunity to kickstart that process again in good faith and we would like to see comprehensive negotiations restart with immediate effect.”