The Elders

Press release

The Elders condemn the violence against civilians in Aleppo and back UN call for urgent humanitarian access

The Elders' statement condemning the violence against civilians in Aleppo, Syria; calling on all sides to the conflict to fully respect international humanitarian law.

"These attacks are unconscionable and constitute war crimes."

The Elders condemn the horrific violence being inflicted on civilians in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. They deplore the devastating attacks on hospitals, schools, food stores as well as water, sanitation and electricity infrastructure.

They call on all sides to the conflict to fully respect international humanitarian law and urge the United States and Russia to take the lead and work with other parties to the conflict to ensure that open and sustained humanitarian access is urgently enforced as called for by the United Nations Secretary General and his Special Envoy for Syria.

Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders, said:

“All parties to the conflict must fully respect international humanitarian law and refrain from targeting civilians. These attacks are unconscionable and constitute war crimes.”

Lakhdar Brahimi, Elder and former UN Special Envoy to Syria, added:

“Peace will not be possible in Syria unless there is first a genuine and lasting change of policy towards the conduct of the war. The use of inherently indiscriminate weapons such as barrel bombs and chemical weapons must be ended immediately.”

For media inquiries, please contact William French, Head of Communications at The Elders (+44 7795 693903) or email:

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The Elders are independent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.

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