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France says Syria not respecting UN humanitarian resolution

PARIS, April 18 (KUNA) -- The French Foreign Ministry said on Friday the Syrian regime is not respecting UN resolution 2139 which calls for humanitarian access to besieged areas of the country where civilians are trapped by ferocious fighting for several months now.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said that France was working in the UN on this and other issues, including a plan to bring the Syrian regime and its leaders before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In a rare show of unity on Syria, the UN Security Council voted on February 22 Security Council resolution 2139 which calls on all parties to facilitate humanitarian access to civilians caught up in the fighting and also to facilitate evacuation of civilians from the war zones.
"What we expect is respect for resolution 2139 on humanitarian access to the Syrian population," Nadal said.
"This resolution is not respected by the regime in Damascus. We are very concerned about the situation in Homs, a 'martyr' town that has been under siege by the regime of Bashar Al-Assad," he added.
The official said France was calling for "an immediate truce" to allow for the evacuation of civilians and he warned that Syria should not be allowed to proceed with arrests of hundreds of civilians as happened with earlier evacuations from conflict zones.
Separately, the spokesman outlined France's position that Syrian regime war criminals should be made to answer for crimes in front of the ICC.
He said a report had been presented April 15 to the Security Council providing photographic evidence of mass killings in Syrian government prisons and detention centres.
The report, dubbed the "Caesar" report, "contains 55,000 photos dealing with 11,000 detainees tortured and killed between 2011 and 2013 in several Syrian regime detention centres," Nadal said.
He said the documentary evidence was without precedent and showed the deliberate and structured policy of torture and killing by the Syrian regime and he added that this evidence was supported by the findings in multiple reports by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
France will continue to fight against impunity in Syria, Nadal stated.
"The International Criminal Court must be seized about these crimes so that they do not go unpunished," the spokesman remarked. (end) jk.bs