UN Chief Says Syrian President Must Stop Violence

Published January 15, 2012 8:09AM (EST)

BEIRUT (AP) — The U.N. Secretary General demanded Sunday that Syria's president stop killing his own people, saying the revolutions of the Arab Spring show that people will no longer accept tyranny.

In a keynote address at a conference on democracy in the Arab world, Ban Ki-moon said the days of one-man rule and family dynasties are over in the Middle East.

"Today, I say again to President (Bashar) Assad of Syria: Stop the violence. Stop killing your people," Ban said.

Assad is trying to crush a 10-month-old uprising that he blames on terrorists and armed gangs. The U.N. estimates more than 5,000 people have been killed in the government's crackdown.

The U.N. chief also urged an end to "Israeli occupation of Arab and Palestinian territories ... Settlements, new and old, are illegal. They work against the emergence of a viable Palestinian state."

By Salon Staff

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