UN Orders Sri Lanka Rebels to Surrender

End of 26-year war in sight as army boxes in Tamil Tigers
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2009 4:48 AM CDT
UN Orders Sri Lanka Rebels to Surrender
Sri Lankan ethnic Tamil civilians who fled from Tamil Tiger-controlled areas gather at a government-controlled transit camp in Omantai, Vavuniya in Sri Lanka.   (AP Photo)

The UN Security Council has called on Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers to surrender after 26 years of civil war as the country's army claims victory is within reach. More than 150,000 Sri Lankans have been displaced as the army has advanced to the island's north, trapping the Tigers in a 5-mile strip along the coast. Humanitarian fears are growing as the clash continues, and America's UN ambassador suggested that both the army and the rebels may have violated international law.

"The fact that both sides have been shooting at civilians as they leave the safe zone is one gross manifestation of the apparent violation of international humanitarian law," said Susan Rice. The ambassador's remarks were echoed by Hillary Clinton, who criticized the Sri Lankan army for "causing untold suffering" in the war's endgame. The rebels are said to be using civilians as human shields.
(More Sri Lanka stories.)

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