Annan Fears 'Civil War' Looming in Syria
[An Nahar] U.N.-Arab League
...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing...
envoy Kofi Annan
...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo...
said on Tuesday his peace plan could be the last chance to avoid civil war in Syria, where a truce has failed to end 14 months of bloodshed that monitors say has killed nearly 12,000 people.
Annan told the U.N. Security Council that the priority in Syria is "to stop the killing," and expressed concern
...meaning the brow was mildly wrinkled, the eyebrows drawn slightly together, and a thoughtful expression assumed, not that anything was actually done or indeed that any thought was actually expended...
that torture, mass arrests and other human rights
When they're defined by the state or an NGO they don't mean much...
violations are intensifying.
Regime forces "continue to press against the population," despite a putative truce that started on April 12, but attacks are more discrete because of the presence of U.N. military observers, diplomats quoted him as saying.
"The biggest priority, first of all we need to stop the killing," Annan told news hounds in Geneva, adding that his six-point peace plan is "the only remaining chance to stabilize the country."
Annan briefed the council on his efforts to get Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir
Before going into the family business Pencilneck was an eye doctor...
to implement the plan, which he said was possibly "the last chance to avoid civil war."
He stressed, however, that the peace bid was not an "open-ended" opportunity for Assad, the diplomats who attended the briefing said.
U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said Washington's goal was still the removal of Assad.
"The United States remains focused on increasing the pressure on the Assad regime and on Assad himself to step down," Rice said.
"The situation in Syria remains dire, especially for the millions who continue to endure daily attacks and are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance," she told news hounds after Annan's briefing.
British ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said Annan told the council he intends to return to Damascus
...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world...
in the coming days, only the second visit since his mission began earlier this year.
Annan updated the U.N. body on the status of his six-point plan, which includes a U.N. military observer mission, a day after U.N. chief the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon
... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan...
warned world powers are racing against time to prevent all-out civil war in Syria.
Annan said that the current 60 or so observers on the ground "have had a calming effect" and the deployment by the end of the month of a 300-strong team will see a "much greater impact."
There has been a decrease in military activities but there have been "serious violations" of the agreed ceasefire and there have also been attacks on government troops and facilities, he said.
"The need for human rights abuses to come to an end cannot be underestimated," he stressed.
"This is what the plan is all about."
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said almost 12,000, the majority of them civilians, have died since the revolt broke out in March 2011.
The Britannia-based watchdog said of the total, some 800 had died since the truce was supposed to take effect.
On Tuesday, at least six non-combatants were killed.
The unrest has persisted despite the presence of U.N. observers monitoring the truce and parliamentary elections on Monday as part of the government's pledge to implement reforms.
The opposition boycotted the vote, denouncing it as a sham. The United States said the exercise was "bordering on ludicrous."
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was losing hope for a solution and urged the U.N. to bolster its observer mission to up to 3,000 rather than the 300 authorized under a Security Council resolution.
"The U.N. should bolster its mission to Syria with up to 3,000 observers to give a full picture of the situation in the country," Erdogan said.
"We support the Annan plan but if someone were to ask me what my hopes are, I would say I have lost hope."
The United Nations
...boodling on the grand scale...
has accused both the Syrian regime and rebels of violating the truce, and China urged all parties to honor their commitments.
"All parties in Syria must abide by their ceasefire commitments, support and cooperate with the work of the U.N. supervision team, to create the conditions to launch an inclusive political process as soon as possible," Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said during a visit by opposition Syrian National Council chief Burhan Ghalioun.
Posted by: Fred 2012-05-09