UN: Syria Is the New Rwanda

Refugee crisis worst since 1994

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 17, 2013 2:58 AM CDT | Updated Jul 17, 2013 3:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – An average of 6,000 Syrians are fleeing their war-ravaged country every day, causing the world's worst refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide, the United Nations warns. The UN's refugee chief says the outflow of refugees has escalated at "a frightening rate" since the beginning of this year, causing a "crushing impact" on neighboring countries including Turkey and Lebanon, the BBC reports. A Security Council meeting was also told that the conflict is claiming some 5,000 lives a month.

The world is "not only watching the destruction of a country but also of its people," the UN's aid chief said, warning that 6.8 million Syrians—half of them children—are in urgent need of humanitarian aid. "The security, economic, political, social, development, and humanitarian consequences of this crisis are extremely grave and its human impact immeasurable in terms of the long-term trauma and emotional impact on this and future generations of Syrians," she said. Syria's ambassador to the UN, meanwhile, claimed the regime was doing "everything possible to shoulder its responsibility and its duty to its people."

A Syrian child sits on the ground at a refugee camp near the Turkish border with Syria.
A Syrian child sits on the ground at a refugee camp near the Turkish border with Syria.   (AP Photo/Edlib News Network ENN)
Syrian refugees take down their belongings at Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan.
Syrian refugees take down their belongings at Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan.   (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)
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In Syria today, serious human rights abuses, war crimes and crimes against humanity
are the rule. - Ivan Simonovic, the UN's assistant secretary general for human rights

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