(NEW YORK) — The United Nations confirmed on Thursday what has been reported for weeks: the death toll from the 28-month-long civil war in Syria has exceeded 100,000.
In making the announcement, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also declared, “The military and violent actions must be stopped by both parties and it is thus imperative to have a peace conference in Geneva as soon as possible.”
The conference Ban referred to is tentatively scheduled for September although there are still no indications that it might actually come to pass.
According to U.N. figures, close to 7,000 people have been killed during the past month with civilians incurring many of the casualties.
Meanwhile, as many as 1.7 million Syrians have left the country to escape the violence, resulting in what the U.N. says is the most significant refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide two decades ago.
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Ray Sanchez, CNN
Dave Gilbert, CNN
Steve Almasy, CNN
Barbie Latza Nadeau, Margot Haddad, Livia Borghese and Angela Dewan, CNN