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Internal investigation finds UN "failed Sri Lanka civilians"

  • The United Nations failed in its mandate to protect civilians in the final months of Sri Lanka's civil war, according to a leaked draft of an internal United Nations report.

    "Events in Sri Lanka mark a grave failure of the UN," the report concludes.

    The Sri Lankan government and Tamil rebels are accused of war crimes in the bloody conflict, which ended in May 2009.

    The UN has not yet commented on the reports, which were leaked on Tuesday, adding it will still publish the final draft.

    The UN's investigation into its conduct during the final months states that in future the organization should "be able to meet a much higher standard in fulfilling its protection and humanitarian responsibilities".

    Though the report highlights the positive impact of UN staff on the ground and the secretary general, it still points to a "systemic failure".

    The 26-year conflict claimed the lives of at least 100,000 people.

    Figures over the deaths of civilians in the last months of battle are still to be confirmed. An earlier UN probe estimated that up to 40,000 people had been killed in the last five months alone.