UN Security Council wants full probe of MH17 crash
NEW YORK CITY, USA - The UN Security Council on Friday demanded a full, independent and international investigation into the apparent shooting down of a Malaysian jet over Ukraine that killed 298 people on board.
Council members stood for a minute of silence in memory of those who lost their lives in Thursday's crash over rebel-held eastern Ukraine, at the start of an emergency meeting on the disaster.
"The members of the Security Council called for a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines and for appropriate accountability," the council said.
"The members of the Security Council further stressed the need for all parties to grant immediate access to investigators to the crash site to determine the cause of the incident," it added.
The Council expressed their deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and governments of all those killed in the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
The Security Council added to mounting global demands to find those responsible for apparently shooting down the Boeing 777.
Local emergency crews picked through terrible carnage at the crash site, placing dozens of sticks with white rags in the ground to mark where bodies lay.
The jet came down in corn fields in the separatist-held region, spraying debris and body parts for kilometers around, with the United States claiming it was shot down in a missile attack.
Flight MH17 was "likely downed by a surface-to-air missile, SA-11, operating from a separatist-held location in eastern Ukraine," Samantha Power, Washington's ambassador to the United Nations, told an emergency meeting of the Security Council.
British ambassador Mark Lyall Grant also said early indications showed the flight was brought down by a surface-to-air missile.
Britain and the United States said the tragedy should serve as a wake-up call for Russia to stop supporting and equipping rebels fighting in eastern Ukraine.
Power said given the technical complexity of missile systems in the hands of separatist rebels, the United States "cannot rule out technical assistance from Russian personnel" in their use.
"The context for yesterday's horror is clear. Separatist forces backed by the Russian government continue to destabilize Ukraine," Power told the Council.
Britain and the United States demanded an immediate ceasefire to allow investigators to access the crash site and said the world must stop at nothing to bring those responsible to justice.
"This tragedy only underscores the urgency and determination with which we insist that Russia immediately take concrete steps to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine, support a sustainable ceasefire and following the path toward peace," Power said.
"This war can be ended. Russia can end this war. Russia must end this war," she added. - AFP/Rappler.com