Warring parties in Ukraine urged to stop fighting

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Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The warring parties in Ukraine have been urged to lay down their arms amid a fresh escalation in the fighting.

The UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein's appeal follows the death of over 220 civilians killed in the past three weeks.

Any further escalation will prove catastrophic for the 5.2 million people affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the High Commissioner said.

Daniel Johnson reports.

Fighting in Ukraine must stop to prevent a "catastrophic" situation for civilians, the UN's top Human Rights chief warned on Tuesday.

"Bus stops and public transport, marketplaces, schools and kindergartens, hospitals and residential areas have become battlegrounds in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine."

Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.

The High Commissioner's written appeal is addressed at "states and all those with influence".

In it, he asks them to respect the battered Minsk ceasefire agreement, since any further escalation "will prove catastrophic for the 5.2 million people living in the midst of conflict" in eastern Ukraine.

Ms Shamdasani, speaking at the UN in Geneva, said there was a “dangerous esclation of rhetoric” from warring parties, as well as a total breakdown of law and order.

More than 5,300 people have been killed and another 12,200 wounded since mid-April last year, according to the latest UN figures.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations.

Duration: 1’00″

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