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Syrian aid groups suspend ties with UN

Vehicles of the International Committee of the Red Cross the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the United Nations wait on a street after an aid convoy entered the rebel-held Syrian town of Daraya, southwest of the capital Damascus, on June 1, 2016More than 70 Syrian aid groups are suspending cooperation with the United Nations, accusing UN humanitarian agencies and their partners of being manipulated by the regime, according to a letter released Thursday. In the letter to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the 73 signatories demanded an investigation of the UN agencies’ work in Syria and called for a monitoring body to be set up to oversee the relief effort. “It has become clear to many organizations that the Syrian government in Damascus has a significant and substantial influence on the performance of UN agencies based in Damascus as well as their partners,” including the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, said the letter.

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