Arab body says monitors should quit Syria

2012-01-01 18:03

Cairo - An Arab League advisory body called on Sunday for the immediate withdrawal of the organisation's monitoring mission in Syria, saying it was allowing Damascus to cover up continued violence and abuses.

The Arab League has sent a small team to Syria to check whether President Bashar Assad is keeping his promise to end a crackdown on a nine-month uprising against his rule.

The observer mission has already stirred controversy. Rights groups have reported continued deaths in clashes and tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets to show the observers the extent of their anger.

The Sudanese head of the mission also infuriated some observers by suggesting he was reassured by first impressions of Homs, one of the main centres of unrest.

The Arab Parliament, an 88-member advisory committee of delegates from each of the League's member states, on Sunday said the violence was continuing to claim many victims.

"For this to happen in the presence of Arab monitors has roused the anger of Arab people and negates the purpose of sending a fact-finding mission," the organisation's chairperson Ali al-Salem al-Dekbas said.

"This is giving the Syrian regime an Arab cover for continuing its inhumane actions under the eyes and ears of the Arab League," he said.

The Arab Parliament was the first body to recommend freezing Syria's membership in the organisation in response to Assad's crackdown.

An Arab League official, commenting on the parliament's statement, told Reuters it was too early to judge the mission's success, saying it was scheduled to remain in Syria for a month and that more monitors were on their way.

The parliament called on the League's Secretary General Nabil Elaraby to convene a meeting of Arab foreign ministers to adopt a resolution to withdraw the mission immediately.

The continued abuse and killing of innocent Syrian civilians was a "blatant violation to the Arab League's protocol", Dekbas said.

Syria's state news agency Sana said there had been "massive demonstrations" throughout Syria on Friday in support of Assad, and denouncing "the plot which Syria is exposed to".

It said demonstrators had denounced "the pressure and biased campaigns targeting Syria's security and stability" and the "lies and fabrications of the misleading media channels".

Syrian authorities have accused foreign powers of arming and funding "terrorists" in the country and say 2 000 of the government's soldiers and police have been killed.

  • Michael - 2012-01-01 18:38

    The presence of the monitors was never going to suit the opposition. They have only been in the country a few days and the opposition is calling for them to go! This is simply because they have thus far not given out a one sided message and are having a close look at reality on the ground. The monitoring mission was never there to force a unilateral withdrawal by the government forces. Both sides were meant to lay down their weapons and be the subject of "monitoring". As much as many people will dislike it, the fact is that the regime has a huge amount of support. The difficulty now is that the Syrian society is polarized, and even a violent attempt at regime change will be difficult. This makes it even more necessary for the monitoring mission to create a balance and urge both sides to the negotiating table. In this way we could see the country having a free election in a year or two, instead of a huge blood-letting. Unfortunately, certain countries such as the USA and France are urging the latter.

      Derek - 2012-01-02 12:30

      Spot on Micheal, this is another armed insurgency sponsored by the West. It amazes me that people don't see it.

  • The-Azanian - 2012-01-01 19:26

    What on earth is happening in middle-east? sudannese delegates on a peace mission in another country, sounds more like a joke to me.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-01 19:55

      It's all about creating war. The Middle East is the next flashpoint. The Third World War. 1st War was about creating communism to fight against capitalism. 2nd World War was about the establishment of a Jewish State. 3rd uses the geographical location of Jewish State to allow the USA to fight the Moslems in a so-called Christian war. It's about creating a one world order.

      Jeffrey - 2012-01-01 19:58

      @goyougoodthing, You need to create some order in what passes for your mind. You make up your own history in your head.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-01 20:06

      This from someone who has a fake FB profile. Do a little research, pull the wool from your eyes. Perhaps then, it's all just random. How Marx managed to find exile in London while writing about how to bring it down, why Americans financed this, why Germany was allowed to invade Poland, why an Arch Duke of Serbia started a war against Germany, why communism was allowed to flourish etc etc etc.

  • Derek - 2012-01-02 12:28

    There is only truth in the last three paragraphs. The rest is lies.

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