`Assad is a killer, must face International court`
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Last Updated: Wednesday, March 14, 2012, 15:44
Paris: French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Wednesday that Syria's leader is acting like a murderer and should be sent to the International Criminal Court.

With diplomatic efforts to end the bloodshed in Syria faltering, the French leader urged humanitarian corridors to allow refugees out and aid in to the country.

"We must obtain humanitarian corridors, and for that we must unblock the Russian veto and Chinese veto" at the UN Security Council, Sarkozy told Europe-1 radio.

UN Security Council members are meeting to decide what to do next to try to stop the violence.

"The French army can in no way intervene" in Syria without UN backing, Sarkozy said. France, Syria's former colonial ruler, was a leading player in the UN-mandated, NATO-led airstrike campaign in Libya.

Sarkozy reached out to both Assad and Libya's Moammar Gadhafi earlier in his tenure to try get them to cooperate with the international community.

But after both leaders responded to uprisings last year with military repression of protesters, Sarkozy abandoned his support for them.

The U.N. estimates that more than 7,500 people have been killed since the anti-Assad struggle started a year ago inspired by Arab Spring uprisings elsewhere. As Assad's forces used deadly force to stop the unrest, protests spread and some Syrians took up arms.

Assad "is today behaving like a murderer and will have to answer for himself at the International Criminal Court," Sarkozy said.

International envoy Kofi Annan visited Syria over the weekend and was in Turkey on Tuesday to try to find a way to end the violence, but both the Syrian government and the opposition are refusing to talk to one another.


First Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012, 15:44

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