UN official calls for halt to fighting in Ukraine

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Ivan Šimonović briefs the Council via video conference.UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

Warring parties in Ukraine have been urged to stop fighting at the crash site of the Malaysian Airlines flight that was shot down on 17 July, killing 298 people.

The call was made by UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonović during his briefing to the Security Council on Friday.

Mr. Šimonović said that "while the downing of the plane may constitute a war crime, a thorough, effective independent and impartial investigation is needed to determine the facts and circumstances of this act."

"This investigation is now underway but is disturbing to learn that the volatile security situation at the crash site continues to hamper the investigators, despite the ceasefire zone declared by the Government of Ukraine around the area. It is urgent to stop the fighting and to secure the crash site." (24")

At the same time, Mr. Šimonović added, there needs to be accountability for those responsible for war crimes and serious violations of international humanitarian law as documented by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission.

He described the intense fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine as "extremely alarming".

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’26″

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