By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Morocco World News
Casablanca, February 3, 2012
The escalation of violence and human rights abuse in Syria is alarming with dozens of victims shot at the hand of the Syrian artillery in just the last few days. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council labors to issue a resolution that would provide international weight to plug the drain in a region with a precarious stability. Sending the Arab observer mission in Syria was an attempt to stem the killing of civilians and spiraling violence. Unfortunately, the Arab mission’s good will was faced with Al Assad’s unflinching stubbornness to deploy military tanks and tighten his grip over major Syrian cities. Thus, the outbreak of uprising continues undeterred, while the Syrian authorities launch a fierce offensive against demonstrators.
On the other hand, the Russians have been determined to block any UN resolution that castigates the Syrian regime. It claims that violence is being perpetrated by both sides, while also defending an ideological view that the Security Council should not weigh in on conflicts that are of an internal nature. Russia and some other Council members also have feared allowing any pretext that could enable military intervention after Libya. Many others, however, view the Russian support for Syria as strictly a geopolitical maneuver: to preserve an ally in Assad. Ambassador Susan Rice of the US last October, following an unsuccessful vote on Syria at that time, even accused, before the Security Council, Russia as seeking to preserve weapons’ contracts.
Last week’s UN draft resolution, put forward by Morocco about Syria, welcomed the efforts of the League of Arab States to ease tensions and sketch a road-map for a quick resolution to the crisis with no more casualties. The Moroccan draft resolution reiterated respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria. It also excluded any foreign military action against the Syrian regime, while condemning the gross violations of human rights, such as the use of force, arbitrary detention to name only a few.
The draft resolution was guided by the Arab initiative that calls on all parties to end violence and the Syrian government to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid and to allow free access to media. The “Moroccan” resolution called for an immediate withdrawal of armed forces from streets and their returns to their barracks.
A return to normality would encourage refugees who fled over the Turkish Syrian border to go back home. Most significantly, this draft endorsed the Arab League’s idea of a national unity government that would be a safeguard for a pluralistic political system. It also urged Syrian president Bashar Al Assad to delegate his powers to his deputy as a prelude to transparent elections under international supervision.
In light of the Arab League briefing on Tuesday, and following intense negotiations on Wednesday and Thursday among the Security Council members, it seems that the co-sponsors of the Moroccan resolution (Morocco, US, UK, France, Germany and Portugal) were willing to make many concessions. For example, references to arms transfers to Syria, Arab League sanctions and the steps outlined as part of a political transition were removed. But where the sponsors have not been willing to compromise was on language that refers to the Arab League’s January 22 decision, when they agreed to their ‘Arab League initiative’, and the Security Council’s full support of it.
The resolution Thursday night was put into the blue, diplomatic terminology that means Security Council members have 24 hours to comment or make suggestions, or the draft text will be put to a vote.
Few UN diplomats envision Russia not countering the current text with new proposals, in particular, the specific reference to the latest Arab League meeting from last month. For this reason, if the Security Council moves towards a vote on the text, it would not be ready to do so until the weekend or early next week.
© Morocco World News