WASHINGTON: A global human rights report released by the US has singled out Syria’s civil war as a tragedy that “stands apart in its scope and human cost”.
The US said a chemical weapons attack in Syria that it says killed 1,429 was “one of many horrors” in the war.
The annual state department review also noted the increased crackdown elsewhere on protesters and civil society groups.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that 20 years after the Rwanda genocide the international community’s collective failure to prevent atrocities in Syria is “a shameful indictment.”
The UN chief also pointed to “grave and blatant” human rights violations in the Central African Republic.
Ban spoke at the New York launch of “Kwibuka 20”, a series of events to mark the 20th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide.
Rwanda’s genocide began hours after a plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana was mysteriously shot down as it approached the capital, Kigali, on April 6, 1994.
The 100-day slaughter, in which more than 500,000 minority Tutsis and moderate members of the Hutu majority were killed by Hutu extremists, ended after Tutsi-led rebels ousted the extremist Hutu government that orchestrated the killings.
The United Nations had a small peacekeeping force in Rwanda at the time but the Security Council refused to beef it up to respond to the mass killings, and individual countries did not respond either.