UN's Syria investigator frustrated as she prepares to leave post

VIENNA, Sandra Walder and Johannes Schmitt-Tegge (dpa) - Former United Nations chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, 70, has expressed her frustration at the lack of progress in Syria as she prepares to step down from her post as the UN's Syria investigator.
"We have had no success at all. For five years we've been running up against brick walls," Del Ponte told Switzerland's German-language Blick tabloid on the sidelines of the Locarno Film Festival.

She said she no longer wanted to play the role of an "alibi ... without political support."
The UN confirmed late Sunday that Del Ponte would be leaving her role at the Syria commission "at some point in the near future."
Del Ponte said there were no more good sides left in Syria. "Everyone in Syria is bad. The Assad government, which commits terrible crimes against humanity and uses chemical weapons, is bad. And the opposition, which only consists of extremists and terrorists," she told Blick.
The international community had learnt nothing from the atrocities in Rwanda, Del Ponte said. Russia was supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and delivering weapons to it, she added.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he regrets Del Ponte's departure.
"He is grateful for her service and the contribution for the important work of the commission," said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Monday in New York. Dujarric didn't comment on a possible successor.
Del Ponte joined the Syria commission in 2012.
The UN said the commission's work had to continue. "It is our obligation to persist in [the commission's] work on behalf of the countless number of Syrian victims of the worst human rights violations and international crimes known to humanity. Such efforts are needed now more than ever," it said in a statement.

Tuesday, August 8th 2017
Sandra Walder and Johannes Schmitt-Tegge

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