War is back on European soil – 27 years after the end of fighting in Bosnia.
The hope of the last weeks to solve the conflict at the negotiating table has been dashed for the time being. Russian troops have crossed the Ukrainian border, there are reports of shelling from several towns, and the first deaths have been reported.
Ukrainian civilians are trying to get to safety or leave endangered areas.
We call for an end to all hostilities and a return to diplomacy for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Furthermore, we call on the parties to uphold the Geneva Conventions and defend human rights. The protection of the civilian population must be the highest goal. Their care must be guaranteed and humanitarian aid made possible. The Ukrainian people and civilian aid workers must not become targets of military action under any circumstances.
The experiences of recent years, not least from Syria, show that these humanitarian principles are all too easily ignored. It will be an important task of the international community to ensure that these rules are observed.
Escape routes must be kept open and humanitarian aid must be offered to people in need. This applies to all refugees, whether from new war zones or known conflict regions.