News24

Annan wants new Syria strategy

2012-06-07 22:29

New York - International envoy Kofi Annan urged the world's nations on Thursday to "genuinely unite" behind a new effort to end the escalating Syrian conflict, warning that if things don't change quickly, the country will likely see brutal repression, massacres, sectarian violence and all-out civil war.

Annan told the UN General Assembly that his six-point peace plan is not being implemented, and he put the blame primarily on President Bashar al-Assad. And in a message aimed at the divided UN Security Council, he said there must be "consequences" for those obstructing peace efforts.

"Clearly, the time has come to determine what more can be done to secure implementation of the plan - and/or what other options exist to address the crisis," Annan said.

The US and its European allies have tried unsuccessfully for months to threaten sanctions against Syria as the death toll has risen.

But Russia and China, Syria's main allies, vetoed two Security Council resolutions that threatened possible sanctions, and they indicated their continuing opposition in a joint statement after a summit in Beijing on Wednesday which also opposed any outside military interference or forceful imposition of "regime change" in Syria.

Annan said the unity of the international community behind his peace plan must now be taken to a new level to "chart a clearer course for a peaceful transition".

"If we genuinely unite behind one process, and act and speak with one voice, I believe it is still possible to avert the worst and enable Syria to emerge from this crisis," he said.

Against the backdrop of a new massacre in Syria, UN diplomats said Annan is expected to propose tasking a group of world powers and key regional players, including Iran, to come up with a strategy to end the 15-month conflict when he addresses a closed meeting of the Security Council on Thursday afternoon.

Annan will present the UN with a plan for creating a "contact group" whose final proposal must be acceptable to Russia and China as well as the US and its European allies, they said.

International conference

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Beijing on Wednesday that Moscow is proposing an international conference on Syria to try to persuade all Syrian opposition groups to respect Annan's plan, end all violence and sit down for talks.

He said it should include "countries which have a real influence with various opposition groups", including the permanent members of the Security Council, Turkey, Iran, the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation and the European Union.

The violence in Syria has grown increasingly chaotic in recent months, and it is difficult to assign blame for much of the bloodshed.

The government restricts journalists from moving freely, making it nearly impossible to independently verify accounts from either side.

The opposition blames government forces and militias that support them, known as shabihas, while the government blames rebels and "armed terrorist groups".

In the latest violence, activists said government forces killed nearly 80 people, including women and children who were shot, hacked to death and burned in their homes.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said unarmed UN monitors came under fire on Thursday as they tried to reach the scene.

Ban strongly backed Annan's call for unity, saying the international community must recognise that the inability of the government or opposition to engage in political dialogue "makes the prognosis extremely grave".

He said the Annan plan remains the centrepiece of UN efforts, but in view of the deteriorating situation "I would welcome further international discussion on how we can act more effectively".

"No one can predict how the situation in Syria will evolve," the secretary general said. "We must be prepared for any eventuality. We must be ready to respond to many possible scenarios."


Comments
  • Fidel - 2012-06-07 22:46

    "But Russia and China, Syria's main allies, vetoed two Security Council resolutions that threatened possible sanctions, and they indicated their continuing opposition in a joint statement after a summit in Beijing on Wednesday which also opposed any outside military interference or forceful imposition of "regime change" in Syria." Well done to Russia and China once again for showing true leadership. The days of US sponsored regime change around the world should be confined to the dust bins of history. "Annan told the UN General Assembly that his six-point peace plan is not being implemented, and he put the blame primarily on President Bashar al-Assad. And in a message aimed at the divided UN Security Council, he said there must be "consequences" for those obstructing peace efforts." This should include those fuelling the conflict via pumping arms into the middle of it, while pretending to be in favour of peace, have blood on their hands as well.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-07 23:59

      The usual wrong perspective that only furthers violence and oppression. Truly stubborn and shocking.

      Dylan Dario Sciarappa - 2012-06-08 02:07

      Fred really when are you going to realize that the opposition are as much to blame as the Assad regime

      Juan - 2012-06-08 02:14

      I'd say the CIA must do their thing what they are good at and give us that Sirian president's head in a box

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-06-08 04:32

      Dylan, ""when are you going to realize that the opposition are as much to blame as the Assad regime"" At least, you accept that there is an opposition in Syria. But, it still makes no sense what you say. The opposition wants the end to 50 years of illigitimate rule by an evil and violent family. They went onto the streets , unarmed, for almost one year, and than got the backing and protection, of thousands of Syrian Army deserters. And now you want to put part of the blame onto the opposition ? That's crazy !!

      Smell - 2012-06-08 07:22

      Ah Fidel Frikadel, why do we just know that when the UN was pushing with sanctions and resolutions for regime change in the old South Africa you were so happy that they were meddling in South Africa's domestic affairs? If your retort is that Apartheid South Africa was not a true democracy, then neither is Syria where the the Assad dictatorship (representing a religious minority) has brutally suppressed the majority of citizens for decades. Apartheid's domestic death toll from 1948 to 1994 has been estimated to be 21,000 - that is over 46 years. Assad's regime in just over one year has resulted in the deaths of 14,000 citizens. You really have lethal heroes. Fidel, you have made so many intellectually and morally bankrupt contributions on News24 that I think you deserve some kind of an award. Like a rotten egg. Or perhaps a good dose of Assad's medicine.

      Fidel - 2012-06-08 10:06

      By all means ignore me, your posts have hitherto been petty insults and childish name calling.

      Dylan Dario Sciarappa - 2012-06-08 10:19

      Yes Anthony alqueda and Hamas backed opposition are going to bring about a credible stable democracy.

      Smell - 2012-06-08 19:22

      Fidel, I see you are conveniently focusing on the Frikadel part, because you have no rational retort to my arguments. Then again, how could you possibly defend siding with tyrants brutalizing citizens, just because the tyrants are "brother leaders". Put differently, you are essentially suggesting that it is OK to shun democracy and human rights, as long as the leader happens to be non-White. Or like saying "I know my friend is a mass murderer, but I will support him because he has always been nice to me". That is why I suspect you have a Frikadel in your noggin.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-08 22:12

      Dylan, you believe the US attacked itself on 9/11. It's no wonder then that you believe Syrians are "as much to blame as Assad". They were unarmed for close on eleven months, wanting nothing more than basic human rights such as the right to vote, when they were killed, maimed, tortured and raped by the tens of thousands by the self-proclaimed bloody surgeon of Syria. Snap out of your delusion. You're still blinding yourself.

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-08 00:02

    "Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Beijing on Wednesday that Moscow is proposing an international conference on Syria to try to persuade all Syrian opposition groups to respect Annan's plan, end all violence and sit down for talks." Shocking. All the while Russia is arming Assad. Russia is killing Syrians and their families. In 2012.

      tc.convulvulous - 2012-06-08 06:58

      Remeber, just like the ANC in South Africa, Russia and China will not act against dictators and governments that butcher their own people. They have to keep their own backdoors open for when they have to do the same, keep the back door open for when they themselves want to butcher their own people who opppose them. We already see some signs here in SA!

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-06-08 08:49

      All autocratic govts, says it all.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-06-08 06:18

    The ONLY solution to an end to the killings and chaos in Syria, is the departure of the assad family. There is NO other way !

  • tc.convulvulous - 2012-06-08 06:53

    Hey Mr Annan, Your organisation has become irrelavant because of your failure to act when masses of people are being killed! As a matter of fact, more people die violently in South Africa under ANC rule than in Syria, but not a word from your pathetic organisation about that! The UN is becoming more-and-more irrelavant.

  • Martin - 2012-06-08 07:29

    I KNOW, have U2 put on a concert to raise awareness of the plight of the syrian victims that are getting bliksemed everyday, if it goes to civil war i bet i know whose gonna sell arms and ammo to the rebels, look conscerned but dont actually help cos there are trillions to be made out of this, cant intervene as there are no oil resourses, so allowing it to progress to civil war lets the US & UN make money without expending their own bank balance, its getting old, same old story, condemn, condemn, send in spectators and journalists, throw a massive U2 raise awareness campaign, kill time , kill time, sell rebel army and syrian government arms and ammo, send the red cross and un peace keepers, to asure everyone that they are in control, condemn random acts of war, propaganda worldwide showing the great job they are all doing, pics of civillians smiling next to us or un troops, then after months of fighting, when their gov is over thrown, facilitate new leadership of choice, get kick backs, raise flags everywhere, parade, heros, blah blah...... just smart bomb assad and his cronies, finished and klaar, help them for fff sake

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-08 16:17

      Not clear what you're saying. What is clear is the lack of hope. I understand this feeling. I've felt it too. Syrians will be free, notwithstanding the brutal decisions being made by the unelected heartless tyrant Bashar Assad, supported by Russia, China and Iran.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-09 05:39

      Al-Quaida does not support anyone. They follow their own agenda, which is failed states so they can have bases of operations. The more this is allowed to continue, the greater the opportunity there will be for Al-Quaida to take root. The US will not allow this to happen. Thankfully.

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