Syria scuttles peace plan

2012-04-08 19:55

Beirut - A UN-brokered plan to stop the bloodshed in Syria effectively collapsed on Sunday after President Bashar Assad's government raised new, last-minute demands that were swiftly rejected by the country's largest rebel group.

The peace plan, devised by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, was supposed to go into effect on Tuesday, with a withdrawal of Syrian forces from population centres, followed within 48 hours by a cease-fire by both sides in the uprising against four decades of repressive rule by the Assad family.

But on Sunday, Syria's foreign ministry said that ahead of any troop pullback, the government needs written guarantees from opposition fighters that they will lay down their weapons.

The commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army, Riad al-Asaad, said that while his group is ready to abide by a truce, it does not recognise the regime "and for that reason we will not give guarantees".

Annan's spokesperson had no comment on the setback. The envoy has not said what would happen if his deadlines were ignored.

Even before the setback, expectations were low that the Assad regime would honour the agreement.

  • Andrew - 2012-04-08 20:36

    What else would you expect from an Arab Muslim???

      Fred - 2012-04-08 23:54

      You're being a racist and a bigot Andrew.

  • michael.a.devilliers - 2012-04-08 21:18

    Thought so, just a delaying tactic so he can slaughter another 1000 people. Can't wait till the streets run red with his blood.

  • Fred - 2012-04-09 04:35

    The world is waiting, families are being slaughtered, and Syrians are being denied the right to vote for their leaders while Russia is selling arms to Assad. This is a dereliction of responsibility of the freer world. It is shocking, heart-breaking and wrong.

  • Luyolo - 2012-04-09 09:29

    How the hell is the regime going to put weapons down whilst the opposition is still carrying weapons. Kofi said both sides must put weapons down now the opposition is refusing. Just imagine a situation where you are told to put down your gun whilst your opponent is still carrying one wouldn't that be stupid.South africans should never call for military interventions because they above anyone else know that peaceful negotiations are way better than a military one. Also people must stop promoting Muslim hatred. We live with them here peacefully.

      Fred - 2012-04-09 12:22

      Clearly you missed, or choose to overlook, the first eleven months on Assad's assault on peaceful demonstrators.

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