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Thursday, May 31, 2012

SYRIA...... A crisis is in sight?


The massacre sign inefficiency of the Annan Plan. This tragedy does push the international community to act decisively? Will there a before and after "Hula massacre"? After 14 months of revolt and a Syrian casualties of around 13,000 people, including more than 1,800 since the beginning of the Annan plan, no crisis has evoked seemed viable. Power, which has always signed proposals of international peace plan, even authorizing the sending of UN observers, never did change his attitude on the field, continuing repression without respite: fire on protesters , arbitrary arrests, torture, executions. The plan of UN envoy Kofi Annan - based on a necessary cease-fire allowing peaceful demonstrations - signed by Bashar al-Assad, has never actually been implemented. The Hula massacre - 108 people killed including 49 children and 34 women - has demonstrated to the international community's lack of effectiveness of the plan. These are indeed whole families who were executed in their home. But media coverage of the massacre, amplified by the unanimous condemnation by the Security Council, the killing, has prompted Western governments to act. Paris, London, Madrid, Berlin, Rome, Geneva, Brussels, Sofia ... but also Tokyo, Canberra and Washington have announced the return of the Syrian ambassador stationed in their country . An approach that reinforces the isolation of Syria, already hit by economic sanctions including the EU or the Arab League. The magnitude of this movement has mostly been ambassadors symbolically banished from the community of nations a country whose ruler is now considered "the murderer of his people" in the words of Laurent Fabius.

An entry in action?

So, beyond the protests and symbolic acts, the international community it is taking action? Several avenues are being explored by states and international organizations. The track sanctions is possible and can be further strengthened. While it is difficult for the EU or the Arab League to devise new economic sanctions, it is possible however to push for a better implementation of the latter. For their part, the United States announced Wednesday work together with Qatar to close the financial system of their country to a Syrian bank, the Syria International Islamic Bank. A measure to increase "economic pressure on the Assad regime by cutting off an escape route leading financial," the U.S. Treasury Department. In addition, other tracks are even carved. Paris has requested the holding of an emergency special session of the Council of Human Rights on the situation in Syria. It could be held in the coming days, according to the Quai d'Orsay. But whatever the position of the Council, it will retain a purely symbolic.

Security zones

Belgium, for his part called on Wednesday for the creation of "safe areas" protected by an "international force". "Without a military presence on Syrian territory to ensure the cease-fire, to support the Annan plan, to protect the observers, to ensure the flow of humanitarian aid, we will get nothing of the Syrian president" , said Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, while repelling an action similar to that which brought down in 2011 Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. A position that France has not yet followed. Without discarding the military option, Francois Hollande, for its part Tuesday night found that such an operation should take place under UN mandate. But only the Security Council may request the United Nations implementation of Chapter VII of the Charter which authorizes military action. A Security Council blocked by the Chinese veto threats, and especially Russia. In fact, Moscow has tried considering a military option "premature" and Beijing reiterated being "opposed to military intervention." Many wonder now what Putin seeks, and how to make it change its position. For now, few answers. But the head of the Russian state is received in Paris on Friday by Francois Hollande for a dinner menu which Syria could face a main dish.

The fall of the regime

Meanwhile, the Syrians mobilized against the government continue to hope the regime fell. "An international agreement for Assad's departure is the only way to save the Annan plan and find a political solution, otherwise the situation could explode and threaten the entire region", has estimated the Syrian National Council ( CNS), the main opposition coalition. An international agreement that is also not necessarily intended to establish a military approach. The Yemeni example of a negotiated transition remains a possibility. An assumption difficult to accept for the time in Moscow. And Damascus, where the system seems not to doubt its indestructibility. But an approach that would be both cheaper for the international community and the least costly in lives to the Syrians. 

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