By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Syria's accelerating humanitarian crisis hit a grim milestone Wednesday: The number of U.N.-registered refugees topped 1 million — half of them children — described by an aid worker as a "human river" of thousands spilling out of the war-ravaged country every day.
Syria's 22-month-long civil war has created a refugee crisis of historic proportions that threatens to destabilize countries in the Middle East and has far outpaced the ability of foreign governments and global relief agencies to respond, says a top U.N. official.
At least 11,000 Syrians poured into neighboring countries in a single day, U.N. officials said Friday, in a dramatic surge in the exodus of refugees fueled by heavy battles between regime forces and rebels for control of a border town.
Libyan forces loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi shelled villages and towns to try to take control of the high ground in a western mountain range, while a U.N. official appealed for global assistance for some 2 million people displaced by fighting between Col. Gadhafi's forces and rebels trying to oust him.
But with no quick end to the conflict in sight, the refugee problem is bound to worsen, said Panos Moumtzis of the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR.
The number of registered refugees doubled since December, he said, with some 7,000 fleeing Syria every day.