Calls for 'greater effort' to end the surge of violence in UkraineListen /
All sides involved in the crisis in Ukraine have been urged to make greater effort to find a peaceful resolution to the current situation, especially in towns in eastern and southern Ukraine that have seen increasingly violent confrontations.
Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, says that the government must ensure that military and police operations are in line with international standards, and that they 'scrupulously' protect the human rights of all, including the Russian-speaking population.
He's calling on armed opposition groups to stop all illegal actions, including detaining people and seizing public buildings. He says that a peaceful resolution must be found:
"Inclusive and participatory dialogue needs, as a matter of urgency, to be undertaken at all levels to de-escalate tensions and prevent further violence. Leaders at national and local levels need to take serious steps to halt the rhetoric of hatred and confrontation, before the situation spirals totally out of control." (20″)
In addition, he says that peaceful demonstrations must be allowed, not only to comply with international law but also as a release valve for people's legitimate fears and frustrations. He says that there is an urgent need to create an environment where freedom of expression and opinion are fully respected.
Nicki Chadwick, United Nations, Geneva.