What did you think after Kofi Annan’s speech in New York yesterday?
The special envoy informed the Security Council that Syrian officials had pledged to halt the violence by April 10. That move must begin now.
There is a deadline, which is April 10. Bashar al-Assad must now implement three immediate measures, to which he has agreed: to “immediately cease troop movement towards, and end the use of heavy weapons in, population centers, and begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centers.”
We cannot tolerate the continuation of violence. That date must imperatively be respected by Syrian officials; if not, they will be considered in violation of the demands set forth by the Security Council in its presidential statement of March 21.
What will happen if the Damascus regime does not cooperate with Kofi Annan?
If the al-Assad regime does not cooperate with Kofi Annan, you can imagine the gravity of the situation with respect to the special envoy representing the UN Security-General and the Arab League, at the request and with the support of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Friends of the Syrian People.
If the regime continues its evasions and massacres, it will be flouting and insulting the international community as a whole.
In that case, we will have to take the appropriate action.
What do you think of Mr. Kellenberger’s visit to Syria?
France supports the efforts of the ICRC whose president, Jakob Kellenberger, is currently in Syria and is doing his utmost to ensure that the organization has free, unfettered access to the victims of the crackdown, while abiding by its principles of independence and neutrality.
The humanitarian situation in Syria is extremely troubling. Since the beginning of the crackdown against the protest movement in that country, more than 10,000 people have perished and 75,000 have been injured. 65,000 people have disappeared and more than 210,000 have been imprisoned.
The situation is tragic.
Following Valérie Amos’s recent trip to Homs on March 7-9, this latest visit underscores the urgent need to establish humanitarian access to Syria in order to help the civilian population. It is in this urgent context that Syrian officials are implementing Kofi Annan’s plan, which they say they’ve accepted, and one of whose six points provides for guaranteeing humanitarian access to civilian populations.
Learn more on Syria.