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Ukraine: UN chief calls for safe passage of civilians from conflict zones

On Sunday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged for a halt in combat to allow people to flee battle zones in Ukraine, as the UN rights organization (OHCHR) reported 1,123 civilian fatalities since the start of Russia’s armed offensive on the nation.

In a Tweet, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that it is critical to arrange a break in the violence in Ukraine to allow for the safe departure of civilians from all war zones.

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“Also, to ensure that life-saving humanitarian aid, such as the UN supplies that began arriving on Saturday, can move in to help those who remain,’’ he said.

Guterres singled out the cities of Mariupol, Kharkiv and Sumy as examples of hotspots where civilians are at particular risk.

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Attempts to allow some 200,000 civilians to safely leave Mariupol continue to be thwarted, with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reporting “devastating scenes of human suffering” in the city.

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The ICRC reported on Sunday that, whilst their teams remain on standby to help with the evacuation, they need security guarantees in order to operate.

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