Syria: Russia proposes extended UN mission

2012-07-11 07:54

Geneva - Russia circulated among UN Security Council members on Tuesday a draft resolution to extend a UN mission in Syria for three months so it can shift focus from monitoring a non-existent truce to securing a political solution to the conflict.

The deeply divided council must decide the future of the mission, known as UNSMIS, before 20 July when its initial 90-day mandate expires. International envoy Kofi Annan is due to brief the council on Wednesday on his bid to broker peace in Syria.

Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces have killed more than 15 000 people since a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters began in March 2011, some Western leaders say. Damascus says rebels have killed several thousand of its security forces.

The Russian draft resolution is unlikely to satisfy the United States and European council members, who have called for a resolution under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which allows the council to authorise actions ranging from diplomatic and economic sanctions to military intervention.

US officials have said they are talking about sanctions on Syria, not military intervention.

Russia's Deputy UN Ambassador Alexander Pankin said a resolution under Chapter 7 would be "counterproductive" in what he described as a "delicate situation". Russia and China have previously vetoed UN resolutions designed to pressure Assad.

Military observers

"There is no mention of Chapter 7 [in the Russian draft] and that's a matter of principle for us because we believe the special envoy is doing a commendable job," Pankin said. "[The draft] is a continuation of the mission bearing in mind the recommendations of the Secretary-General."

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has recommended the emphasis of UNSMIS' work shift from military observers - who suspended most of their monitoring activities on 16 June because of increased risk amid rising violence - to the roughly 100 civilian staff focusing on a political solution and issues like human rights.

The mission would keep its current mandate for up to 300 unarmed observers under this option, but significantly fewer likely would be needed to support the new focus.

The Russian draft resolution, obtained by Reuters, does not specify a number but "stresses the need for UNSMIS to have a military observer capability to conduct effective verification and fact-finding tasks".

It also "calls upon all Syrian parties to guarantee the safety of UNSMIS personnel without prejudice to its freedom of movement and access, and stresses that the primary responsibility in this regard lies with the Syrian authorities".

The resolution also strongly urges all parties to cease all violence and stressed "that it is for the Syrian people to find a political solution and that the Syrian parties must be prepared to put forward effective and mutually acceptable interlocutors" to work with Annan toward an agreement.


One Security Council diplomat, who did not want to be named, described the Russian draft as "basically a rollover".

"At the very least it needs to be combined with some real pressure on the parties," he said. "The council will need to address the Syria situation in a more comprehensive way."

Annan met with Assad in Damascus on Monday before travelling to Iran and Iraq for talks on the conflict. Annan said Assad had suggested easing the conflict on a step-by-step basis, starting with districts that have suffered the worst violence.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-11 08:12

    The first step the Russians should do, is to stop immediately 'any' arms supplies, and send their "experts and advisers" back home to Russia. The second step should be to demand that this assad leaves Syria.. Than one does not have to extend any kind of UN mission< as the killings will stop within 24 hours. This assad is going, so why not right now ???

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-11 08:22

    "The resolution also strongly urges all parties to cease all violence and stressed "that it is for the Syrian people to find a political solution" The Russians are the only ones to make any serious peace proposal. It is the Russians and Chinese who have acted most responsibly and legally in their response to the Syrian tragedy. Let the Syrians figure it out amongst themselves!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-11 08:41

      The same immature core belief that the West is evil leads Fidel to enable the killing of Syrians and their families by an unelected dictator in control of the Syrian state and military, supported by Russia and China, which have the worst human rights records of any country on Earth.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-11 08:46

      The west, especially the US is evil. It exports its worst excesses abroad.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-11 09:03

      Fidel, ""It is the Russians and Chinese who have acted """most responsibly""" and legally in their response to the Syrian tragedy."" Another of your absurd comments; Responsibly ?????? There are SEVENTEEN THOUSAND SYRIANS ""DEAD"" If the Russians and Chinese had joined everyone else on the SC, this assad terrorist would be long gone, and REAL nrgotiations could have started months ago, so the Syrians could have 'figured it out' by themselves !!!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-11 09:08

      ""The west, especially the US is evil"" Your comments have NOTHING AT ALL to do with Syria. You and that Patrick, ONLY contribution to this site is, to spew out 24/7 anti Western BS. You USE the Syrian tragedy for your own silly little pseudo intellectual crap, to 'educate' the masses. what you radicals/extremists cannot get right with the ballot box, you will shove this leftists crap down our throats via the internet. YOU ABUSE YOUR FREEDOM !!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-11 09:16

      You do a good job of expressing the psychosis that a warmongering Humanitarian suffers from. How man more can you kill under the good guy guise? Bombing people to save them. That is not peacekeeping. That is imperialist war-making. Neocolonial thinking is difficult to hide.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-11 09:22

      @Anthony Are you really that daft, can't you see that I am responding to Fred, re the west being evil.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-07-11 09:48

      Fidel , you might notice the very thing you accuse others of doing : "Bombing people to save them. That is not peacekeeping. That is imperialist war-making " Is the very thing the Assad regime is doing . Victim mentality provides a platform for non-accountability and as such thrusts blame onto a convenient outside entity.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-11 10:01

      You are wrong, Assad forces are defending their country from armed foreign terrorists. It's no secret that these terrorists are armed and paid by Turkey (Nato) and the GCC countries, and as such your point about thrusting blame on foreign entities is mute.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-07-11 11:49

      Double standards but we'll see if they are terrorists or Syrians . As far as possible to see its not the FSA shelling Homs and other neighbourhoods but regime forces , bombing the people they are defending , interesting.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-11 11:59

      Fidel, ONLY, so that you can continue making anti Western comments, have you conveniently shifted from reality to conspiracy. The main issue in Syria ,is the Syrian population demanding an end to 50 years of assad tyranny!! ANYTHING ELSE,besides the Russians arming this assad terrorist army, is a side show. Believe me, the mother with her children , hiding under her bed, so not to get killed by these assad DOGS, really has NO interest in what the USA or Turkey says. She knows the world has let them down, and that they are on their own, but more determent than ever, to make an end to FIFTY YEARS OF TYRANNY !!!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-11 12:10

      Governments (elected or not) throughout history have crushed rebellions violently. Syria is no exception. Why should the Assad regime give up the security of that country to a rabble of unorganised foreign mercenaries. Assad has the responsibility to protect the security of millions of Syrians that are unaffected by the coup. I've seen the videos and the interviews as well and the majority of Syrians are going on with the daily lives, most of the country is unaffected by this rebellion. The airports still function, the power and water utilities are operational, the garbage disposal service and the transport system is also operational. Why aren't these Syrians involved in a mass stay aways. Why aren't they making that country UNGOVERNABLE? If it is democracy that these terrorists want, why aren't they agreeing to a negotiation, which hopefully will lead to election. Surely they have a lot to gain from an election in that country as they claim to be representing the majority of Syrians. It is only through chaos that they are able to operate because they are nothing but bandits who are beholden to foreign masters, that is why.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-11 13:45

      fidel, Forget about "throughout history" Today, true democratic countries, like one has in Western europe, there is no need for 'rebellion' Firstly a true democracy, does not only mean the majority is in power, but also that they protect the minorities. Secondly, in Western Europe, one does not need to wait 4 or 5 years to change a government, one can 'fire' an exiting government within hours !!! ""unorganised foreign mercenaries."" This is just silly talk, and you know this, but it fits in well with your comments which HAVE to be anti Western !! Ungovernable; Sure, it would be the easiest way, to change a government, but a continuous national stay away has never succeeded, maybe for the reason, that parents priority is to see there is food on the table, and one finds other means to change a regime. And to say that it just about "all normal" in Syria, is plain absurd. The second largest city Homs, is in ruins, assad's tanks and planes have seen to that !! Most of the city has become a ghost town. Either you are ignorant, or you rather watch silly stuff on RT, or some other conspiracy sites !!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-11 14:06

      @Gerhard Supercilious wannabe smart-alecky one-liners do not an argument make. @Anthony Your so called rebels will get your European style democracy once they sit down with the Syrian government. Assad has a country to run and protect, whether you or they like it or not. Now Pi$$ off!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-11 14:49

      Everything that Fidel writes comes down to one immature belief: the West and US are evil. It doesn't matter that Assad is an unelected dictator murdering Syrians in their homes, it doesn't matter that for eleven months they were demonstrating peacefully for the basic human right to vote, it doesn't matter that Assad killed thousands of these unarmed demonstrators with sniper-fire and detained, tortured and raped tens of thousands more, it doesn't matter that Assad himself has said he's the bloody surgeon of Syria, it doesn't matter that Kofi Annan has stated that Assad is not abiding by the peace plan and is committing atrocities across Syria, it doesn't matter that Russia is arming Assad enabling his killings. It doesn't matter. If the West and US say Assad is an illegitimate leader and must step down, Fidel immaturely and automatically adopts the opposite view. Even if 137 countries of the 166 countries on Earth say the same thing. There's really nothing more to his many, many words on the subject. Many people have pointed this put to him.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-11 16:51

      Fidel, Before you throw another one of your childish tantrums; after this assad terrorist and his scum family are gone !!, the Syrians opposition will sit down with ANYBODY who has the good of syria at heart. if they will have an European style democracy, is totally up to them, but one fact for sure; it will never again be a family of DOGS, leading them. NEVER AGAIN !!!!!!

  • ricky.hammer.92 - 2012-07-11 09:49

    It's about time that democracy loving countries told the Syrians to get rid of this medieval autocratic dictatorship by these unelected nobles and their russian\chinese friends

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-11 10:04

      I was hoping that sarcasm transmits over cyberspace, definitely that is not the case. The point I was making was that no other country is telling the English how to organise their political system, hence you will not hear Russia or China commenting on other countries' political setups.

      ricky.hammer.92 - 2012-07-11 11:37

      But it was ok for the world to interfere in South Africa's political system. Hypocracy at it's best Fidel

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-11 11:59

      Sanctions is an acceptable form of interference indeed (see Zimbabwe), because nothing forces other countries to do business with a country they don't approve of. The Nats and the ANC both made it clear that NO foreign interference was required once they both agreed to negotiate, and what type of government they wanted. It is not for England, Russia, France or the US to decide who should lead Syria.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-11 14:53

      The immature obsessive belief at play again. There's really nothing of value in what Fidel writes. It's the same immature core belief.

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