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General Santos Cruz to head UN mission in Ukraine

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General Santos Cruz to head UN mission in Ukraine

Brazilian Army Reserve General Carlos Alberto Santos Cruz was appointed by the Secretary General of the UN (United Nations), António Guterres, to head a mission that will investigate a bombing that took place in Olenivka prison, Ukraine, on the 29th. of July this year. Ukraine has been under attack from Russia since February 24. The military man is a former minister of the Secretariat of the Government of Jair Bolsonaro (PL).

The case that will be investigated in the mission commanded by Santos Cruz, is about an occasion when the Ukrainian military accused Russian forces of committing a “war crime”, but the Russian Defense Ministry named Ukraine as responsible for the attack. About 40 prisoners died and another 70 were wounded.

Guterres said what happened at the detention center was unacceptable. He recalled that all prisoners of war must be protected under International Humanitarian Law. The UN chief also stated that the Red Cross must have access to detainees.

Santos Cruz was classified as a “respected official” by Guterres during his speech made today, during a press conference in Lviv, Ukraine. He was accompanied by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The UN calls for unrestricted access to people, places and evidence without outside interference in the investigation. According to Guterres, “a mission in search of facts must be free to find them”.

The former Minister of the Secretariat of Government has more than 40 years of military experience in national and international public security and was a leader of UN peacekeeping operations in Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

From Brasilia, Santos Cruz told UN News that he felt very honored to have his name considered by Guterres.

“I have now learned that the UN Secretary General has considered my name for a task in Ukraine. I am very honored and I am sure that the comrades who will also be selected by the United Nations are people of the highest quality, and this is a great guarantee for our work, so that we can have a positive result on the matter that will be treated,” said the retired general.

The former minister also produced a report, known as the Santos Cruz Report, on the functioning of peace missions around the world.

40 years of experience

The fact-finding mission, to be led by the Brazilian general, was a request from the Ukrainian and Russian governments to the UN.

The terms of operation of the mission will be shared with both countries as well as the configuration of the team.

When mentioning his intention to appoint Santos Cruz, Guterres said that the soldier is an officer with more than 40 years of experience in public and military security, including commanding peace missions.

For the Secretary-General, it is necessary to continue obtaining the necessary guarantees for safe access to the sites and places relevant to the investigation of what happened on July 29.

He concluded by saying that a fact-finding mission must be free to find the facts, and that the team must be able to collect and analyze the necessary information.

(Posted by Carolina Farias)

Source: CNN Brasil

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