Kofi Annan Letter to UN Security Council

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Assad’s Syria Regime has failed to honor its own set deadline of April 10, 2012 for ceasefire. However, the “UN/Arab League Envoy” is unwilling yet to ask the UN Security Council for further measures – he has in effect extended the deadline to April 12, 2012, when Mr. Annan will provide an update, and he has already watered-down the requirements by relabeling deadline into timetable. Fig-leaf diplomacy of obfuscation and evasion is repeating itself in Syria following the standard of overt neglect established during the war/genocide in Bosnia & Herzegovina. See our Blog for VideoMilosevic, Assad, Gaddafi, Saddam, Chavez 

 

Below is Mr. Annan’s letter just received by the UN Security Council.

 

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Letter:

 

10 April 2012

Excellency,

I would like to update the Council on my mission,as Joint Special Envoy of the

United Nations and the League of Arab States for Syria. I do so in the context of the 10 and

12 April timelirie. We enter a critical moment in the implementation of the six-point plan,

and I am gravely concerned at the com'se of events. I would be ga'ateful if you could bring

this letter to the attention of the members of the Security Council.

 

As I reported to the Sedudty Council on 2 April, theSyrian Government had intbrmed

me the previous day that itwould implement a plan for withdrawing its mititary units from

populated zones and surrounding areas to take effect from 1 April up until 10 April 2012,

with no new deployments to population centresi I subsequently relayed to all sides that upon

the completion by the Government of its commitments under item 2 of the plan by Tuesday,

10 April, all parties should immediately cease all forms of violence, so that a complete

cessation is in place by 0600 hours Damascus time on Thursday, 12 April. I appreciated the

Security Council's support for this {imeline in its Presidential Statement of 5 April, further to

its support for the six-point plan in its presidential statement of 21 March.

 

In this regard, the days before 10 April should have been an Opportunity for the

Government of Syria to send a powerful politiciÿl signal of peace, wlth action on all aspects of

the six-point plan, in particular through the urgent and visible implementation0f ]ts

commitments under item 2 of the plan, namely, to cease troop movements towards population

centres, to cease alt use of heavy weapons.in such eentres, and to begin pullback of military

concentrations in and around population centres. In the last 5 days it has become clear that

such a signal has yet to be issued.

 

With respect to humanitarian access, discussions are ongoing regarding an expansion

.of humanitarian access andcapacity to reach the estimated one million people in need of

.humanitarian assistance. Following participation in the Government-led humanitarian

assessment mission in March, the United Nations, in coordination with the Syrian Arab Red

Crescent, is now delivering assistance to displaced persons in Tartous Governorate..

With respect to detainees, on 5 .April the tCRC announced that they had agreed to

procedures with the Government for visits to. places of detention, including an immediate

visit to Aleppo Central Prison. In a letter dated 8 April, the Govermnent of Syria haformed

me of the release .of 97 people detahled for participating in opposition activities. The Syrian

Government has also informed me of the pardon of 211 individtmts who had surrendered.

With respect to joulÿalists, the Syrian Government t/as sent men letter, informing me

of the attribution of visas to journalists from 21 international news organisations.

p

 

With respectto the military provisions of the six-point plata, the Syrian Governmeflt

has Underlined.security issues in several letters detailing actions by ann.ned groups against

government forces, civilialls and property. As for its own commitments, it has informed me

of some military movements. According to the communications addressed to me, Syrian

Armed Forces withdrew some unitsfrom the city of Idlib, the Zabadani area as well as from

positions in the governorates of Dar'a on 5 and 6 April and from Dayr al-Zawÿ: on 7 and

• 8 April.

 

Despite.these assurancesfrom the Syrian Government, credible reports indicate that

duling flÿat same peri'od, the Syrian amled forces have conducted felting militaryoperations

in population centers, characterized by troop movements into towns supported by artillery

fire. While some troops and heavy weapons have been withdrawn from some localities, this

appears to be often limited to a reposifioning of heavy weapons that keeps cities withffa fmng

range: Ftÿlÿdÿennore, several new localities also appear to have been subject to military

operations, including the use of heavy weapons on population centres.

Whilethe absence ofUN obsetwers makes it difficult to fÿally.ascertain the situation

on file ground, the rapid increase of refugee flows into Turkey gives a strong indication of a,

surge in violence. Between 15 December 2011; mad 31 March 20 I2, the average rate of

refugees entering Turkey fi'om Syria was 96 persons per day. By contrast, the average rate of

incoming refugees in the last 9 days has bedn 707 persons per day. The spike is

tmquestionable, and of the greatest concern, given the implications for the situation inside

Szcia.

 

FinatIy, in a letter of 8 April, the Syrian Government then introduced new conditions

for any fialI implementation of the plan: (a) written assurances that arnied opposition groups

are prepared to cease all violence, C6) immediate disarmament of.armed groups and

(c) eomlnitment by regional countries that they would not finance or arm opposition groups.

 

These new Syrian requests constitute ex post facto requirements that are not part of '

the slx-point plan which they agreed to implement. This puts at risk the cessation of violence

in all its forms that is so urgently needed and which must take place on 12 April ÿtt 0600.

I have however been.advised by Foreign Minister Lavmv,. following his meeting with

• Forelgal Minister Al-Moalleln; that the Syrian Government is no.longer insisting on written

guarantees, but would need me .to. assure that the other parties and governments also accept

.the plan.

 

I remain of the.view that every effort must be made to achieve a cessation of violence

in all its forms on 1.2 April at 0600am. W.e have been in close contact with the Ieaderships of

the Syrian National- Council, the Free Syrian Army, local coordhaation cdmmittees and other

groups. We have engaged the whole spectrum of the opposition to explain what is required

of them alongside the Governrnent's implementatiori of its obligations. Members of the

opposition have indicated to us and publicly that they would obselwe a cessation ofall forms

of'¢iolence provided Syrlan forces withdraw from cities.

 

Meanwhile, the UN team led by General Mood has worked closely With Syrian

military authorities to start technical preparations for the potential deployment of ol3servers to

supervise and monitor a cessation of mined violence. Progress on teclmical issues appeared to

have been made but substantive differences emerged. General Mood is tetumilÿg to Genev'it to

report on his mission, and I should be in a position to proÿci4e tlÿe Council with more

information On 12 April.

 

If the requh'ed political will is present and the implementation of the six-point plan

can proceed as agreed,.the cessation of violence of !2 April wflt need to be followed in short

order by the deployment of an effective international monitoring mechanism. This will

require quick action from the Security Council. This could then create-the necessary'

conditions for an inclusive political solution that meets the democratic aspirations of the

Sylian people.

 

But recent events are deeply concerning. The'prevailing security and human rights

situation is unacceptable. This crisis has lasted for more than one year, has produced an

intolerably heavy death toll and is now taiggering increased flows of refugees throughout the

region. Earlier this morning, I saw. withmy own .eyes the. devastating hnpact of the crisis in a

retktgee camp in Turkey, c!ose to the border with Syria. The scale of the suffering of the

Syrian peopleis clear. A cessa;ion of violence is urgent.

 

The Syrian leadership should now seize the opporttmity tomake a fundamental

chmlge of course. It is essential that the next 48 hours bring visible signs of immediate and

indisputable chaÿge in the military posture of the Government forces throughout the country,

as called upon by the six,point plma, and that items(a), (b) and (e) of paragraph 2 of the six-

point plan are fully implemented, to enable a cessation of armed violence on 12 April. We

urge the opposition also to fulfill their comImtments to the six-pohlt plan and give no excuse

for the Govenÿaent to renege on its c6mmitments. The cle .ar declarations coming from the

opposition are enco.uraging in this respect.

I have been in constant contact with countries with influence. I appreciate the support

• they have given to the six-point plan and to my efÿbrts. The unity of the international

• community, and in particular of the Security Council, is of vital importance to find a political

solution to the Syrian crisis. At this critical moment, I would be grateful'if a united Council

could register its deep concern at the state of the implementation of the Syrian Government's

immediate obligations, and impre.ÿs upon the parties the importance of meeting the deadline

of I2 April The cessation of viotence in all its forms is a first but essential Step. It must hot

be delayed by new conditions, Violence tnust stop now,

 

On 12 April I hope to be able togive a more detailed assessment of the situation on

the ground.

Please accept, Excellency, fine assurances of my highest consideratirn.

Kofi A. Annan (Signature)

"JointSpeeial Envoy of the United Nations and the

League of Arab States for syria



About the author

DiplomaticallyIncorrect

"Voice of the Global Citizen"- Diplomatically Incorrect (diplomaticallyincorrect.org) provide film and written reports on issues reflecting diplomatic discourse and the global citizen. Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey (@MuhamedSacirbey) is former Foreign Minister Ambassador of Bosnia & Herzegovina at the United Nations. "Mo" is also signatory of the Rome Conference/Treaty establishing the International…

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