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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

International community has ‘duty’ to protect civilians in Eastern Aleppo from slaughter, says Bishop Lang

In a letter to UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, the Chair of the Bishops’ Conference Department for International Affairs, Bishop Declan Lang, has decried the slaughter unfolding in eastern Aleppo.

Following on from his statement on the targeting of civilians in the Syrian city, from 22nd November 2016, Bishop Lang pointed to the use of siege, chemical weapons and indiscriminate bombing as ‘grievous violations of human dignity’.

‘The slaughter unfolding in Eastern Aleppo now presents a new level of violence and suffering which the entire international community has a duty to prevent,’ wrote Bishop Lang. ‘Our concern is for every civilian affected by these atrocities.’

He then called on the Foreign Secretary to use diplomatic channels to bring about humanitarian relief.

‘At this critical time I urge you to exert all of the UK’s diplomatic influence in establishing no fly zones, safe passage for humanitarian relief and ultimately a complete cessation of hostilities.

‘While there are clearly immense political challenges in addressing this crisis, our common humanity compels us to act.’

Picture: People walk past destroyed buildings in the rebel-held Tariq al-Bab neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria. (CNS photo/Abdalrhman Ismail, Reuters).