Bashar Assad’s Syrian Regime has employed Kofi Annan’s diplomatic mission as cover to actually extend its brutal crackdown and killing. That is also a view echoed by US Secretary State Hillary Clinton already at beginning of this week during the UN Security Council debate on the Middle East. Now that Assad has rejected Mr. Annan’s cease-fire plan and track toward talks, it further should induce a reconsideration of tactics/strategy by the Joint UN & Arab League Envoy. Learn from Betrayal/Mistakes in Bosnia/Srebrenica: Knowing Mr. Annan for almost 2 decades and understanding his methodology, patience and caution, it is not always an asset suitable for the moment. Further, mediators/intermediaries at times are inclined to see events unfold largely through prism of their own mission. Assad and associates know this and are likely exploiting this perceived Annan characteristic. While it’s only been a couple of weeks since Annan’s appointment, Assad is amply exploiting the “diplomatic cover” to eliminate the opposition physically and politically but also erase their support base and family/friends among the Syrian population. Killing, siege and denial of food, water and medicine have all been applied as weapons in this crackdown , reminiscent of siege and genocide in Bosnia & Herzegovina pursued by Milosevic’s Serbian forces when Kofi Annan was Head of UN Peacekeeping. The town of Srebrenica was allowed to be overrun during the same period, and killings, “genocide” was how that episode of soft diplomacy concluded. Flip the Cards on Assad: Actually, Kofi Annan may have an advantage to exploit here – Assad does not expect him to venture too far afield from standard diplomacy and calling for talks over substantive action/measures. A few strategic steps for Annan and mission to consider: Call for end to all arms shipments to Assad Regime or he will recommend arming the opposition. This will compel Moscow to engage with more compromise in suffocating Assad’s killing machine. Propose “Humanitarian Corridors” and/or “Safe Zones” along Turkey & perhaps other neighbor borders, especially if Assad continues to mine refugee routes and border areas in effort to preempt escape and entry of humanitarian supplies and weapons to opposition. Impose No-Fly Zone as long as Assad employs air attacks. Do call upon the International Criminal Court to assist in helping Annan Mission ascertain if it’s being exploited for more grave violations of international humanitarian law. (Choice for Annan either to be proactive in confronting war crimes or be perceived as acquiescing/complicit & learn from Srebrenica mistake). Mr. Annan has reports from UN Inquiry Commission on Syria, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch placing him, UNSC and Assad on notice already. This step would also encourage the UNSC to further consider referring Syria to the ICC. Regain Momentum for Annan Mission or it Will Do More Harm than Good: Rather than end Kofi Annan’s mission, I would encourage bold diplomatic steps that put the Assad Regime out of present inertia of no compromise and continued killing and brutality in effort to crush dissent. Currently, the Annan approach only has reinforced the Assad Regime’s current mind-set and actions. It also encourages Assad to increasingly employ sectarianism as weapon and thus perhaps permanently undermine pluralism and co-existence in Syria. By undertaking a bold move, Kofi Annan can reinvigorate his efforts. Otherwise, Kofi Annan’s Mission is not only likely to fail but to repeat the mistakes of acquiescence and complicity that also contributed to 3 &1/2 years of conflict, siege and genocide in Bosnia. See our Latest Video for Blogs on Syria Crisis: Including: “Syria Live Tweets from Inside UN Security Council” - diplomaticallyincorrect.org/films/blog_post/syria-tweets-from-security-council-horseshoe-table/47388 “Focus on Relief & Crimes at UN Security Council” - diplomaticallyincorrect.org/films/blog_post/syria-focus-on-relief-crimes-at-un-security-council/47326 “Syria Retaking Initiative from China, Russia & Assad Allies” - diplomaticallyincorrect.org/films/blog_post/syria-retaking-initiative-from-china-russia-assad-allies/47163 By Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey – Follow @MuhamedSacirbey Facebook = Become a Fan at “Diplomatically Incorrect” Twitter – Follow us at DiplomaticallyX See more at our Popular Video Blogs & Current News Event Articles at diplomaticallyincorrect.org/c/war-crimes-justice UN Photo: This is the Real UN Security Council room, small and cramped, but where the debates and deals are hammered out. UN-Arab League Envoy on Syria Meets Members of Security Council-Kofi Annan (head of table, left), Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian Crisis, meets with the Security Council’s fifteen permanent and non-permanent Members. To the right of Mr. Annan is B. Lynn Pascoe, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.
Time4 Kofi Annan 2Change Strategy or End Mission?
Posted on at