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114 million have fled their homes because of war, violence and persecution – UN says

THE number of people who have fled their homes to escape war, violence and persecution has reached 114 million, according to the United Nations high commissioner for refugees.

Filippo Grandi said that the number was climbing because nations have failed to tackle the causes and combatants are refusing to comply with international law.

He condemned the UN security council, which is charged with maintaining international peace and security, for failing to use its voice to try to resolve numerous conflicts, including those in  Congo, Gaza, Myanmar, Sudan and Ukraine.

Mr Grandi also accused unnamed countries of making “short-sighted foreign policy decisions, often founded on double standards, with lip service paid to compliance with the law.”

Non-compliance with international humanitarian law means that “parties to conflicts have stopped respecting the laws of war,” though some pretend to do so,” he added.

The result is more civilian deaths, sexual violence being used as a weapons of war, hospitals, schools and other civilian infrastructure coming under attack and being destroyed and humanitarian workers becoming targets, Mr Grandi said.

Calling himself a frustrated humanitarian and looking directly at the 15 council members, he said that instead of using its voice, “the council’s cacophony has meant that you have instead continued to preside over a broader cacophony of chaos around the world.”

It’s too late for the tens of thousands of people killed in Gaza, Ukraine, Sudan and other conflicts, Mr Grandi said, “but it is not too late to put your focus and energy on the crises and conflicts that remain unresolved, so that they are not allowed to fester and explode again.

“It is not too late to step up help for the millions who have been forcibly displaced to return home voluntarily, in safety and with dignity.”

It’s also not too late to save millions of people from the scourge of war, he insisted.


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