A fragile hope


According to Kofi Annan, special envoy of the UN –
Arab League, the truce in Syria seems to be holding on.
But still Annan assumes that the Damascus government
will not fully consider his six-point peace plan.

 

An Arabic saying says, “If you are in danger of drowning, you clutch at any straw hoping it will save you”. Nothing could describe the part of the UN on the Syrian issue better than this saying. After long and tough negotiations in February, the Syrian government finally agreed to follow the peace plan of Kofi Annan, which was formally accepted on 27th of March. On 10th April 2012 the Damascus government started to implement the peace plan and since Thursday, 12th April 2012 at 6:00am, the ceasefire has begun – but there is still no sign of withdrawal of the Syrian army. After a yearlong civil war with thousands of death, this agreement seems to be the first step to a change. But the ceasefire is nothing more than a fragile hope.

Although in a lot of parts of the country the ceasefire appears to be holding firm, opposition activists called for mass demonstration after Friday prayers to see how the government and Assad’s followers would react to a peaceful protest. According to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, fights have been noted at the Turkish border after troops wanted to clear rebels out of these area. Moreover Syria’s grassroots Local Coordination Committees stated that there has been heavy gunfire in addition to the fights at the frontier.

There is universal scepticism about the ceasefire brokered by the UN and the Arab League, with Annan conceding that the truce needs support. This is why Annan counted on the support of the Russian and Chinese government. Surprisingly Russia, one of Syria’s closest supporters, is putting more and more pressure on the government. They want to see the Damascus government cooperating with the UN in terms of humanitarian aid, and also with the peace plan. But still Russia does not want to take any further steps with the regime of Assad. China, on the contrary, still rejects any kind of support.

With Russian help Annan has the belief that the six-point peace plan could work out at least as a starting point, but how could this peace plan exactly help Syria? The plan consists of 6 main points, which are:

Implementation of a political process able to satisfy the aspirations of the Syrian population

– Cease of violence on both parts, under the supervision of the United Nations

– Authorization of humanitarian aid into the country

– The release of political prisoner’s and the list of detention centers

– Free access to press along with guarantees of its development

– Acceptation of demonstrations and associations by the regime

Referring to the peace plan, the spokesman of the Syrian National Council stated that Assad has no choice but to continue with the armed violence, declaring that the ceasefire will provoke a wave of mass protests and the removal of the government. This controversial stance will be heavily scrutinized, not but only at a national level but also at a universal level. As stated by UN general secretary Ban Ki-Moon – “The world is watching”.

Danira Milosevic,
Angela Gutierrez Moreno,
Linn Andersson &
Jesus Alacantra Landa

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