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29 Jan 2012 21:52


World: Syria conflict: Calls for outside involvement rise as Arab League leaves

  • The current battles taking place in and around Damascus may not yet lead to the unraveling of the regime, but the illusion of normalcy that the Assads have sought hard to maintain in the capital since the beginning of the revolution has surely unraveled. … Once illusions unravel, reality soon follows.
  • U.S.-based Syrian dissident Ammar Abdulhamid • Discussing the current situation in Damascus, where government tanks have gone into rebel strongholds in an attempt to take back the ground. The situation in the country is quickly deteriorating, with another 62 killed throughout the country Sunday, and the Arab League had to suspend their mission in the region on Saturday as a result of the violence. The big question here: Will outside military forces have to get involved to help ease the situation? Libya was a controversial decision for the U.S. and NATO, and the situation in Syria is in many ways as violent and unhinged. While the U.S. may not heed the call again, the United Nations might. A lot of difficult questions to answer in Syria. source

24 Jan 2012 14:40


World: Arab League sets deadline for Syrian extension of peace monitor deal

  • the plan The Arab League’s deadline for the Syrian government to agree to an extension of the peace monitor delegation that’s been in Syria the last several weeks. They also wants the UN Security Council pass a resolution against Syria, giving their role more leverage and legitimacy.
  • the hitchSome have accused the Syrian government of using the peace monitor mission to stall action against them, rather than seek reform; also, don’t expect a resolution from the Security Council with permanent members China and Russia in the mix. source

22 Jan 2012 21:17


World: Arab League expands observer group, wants Assad to step aside

  • We all had hopes that after sending observers, the problem would be solved—that the presence of observers would halt the violence. But that didn’t happen. Saudi Arabia felt unmotivated and I’m telling you that everyone in the [deliberation] hall felt unmotivated.
  • Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Al Arabi • Describing the frustration the Arab League’s monitors faced in in Syria over recent weeks. The group wants Bashar al-Assad to step aside and hand power to his vice president. The monitors will stay in the country for a second month. The Arab League, which claimed many deaths came as a result of “mutual violence” (to the chagrin of Syrian activists), plans to increase the size of the observer group to 300 people, get better-qualified people, and improve their training. source

11 Jan 2012 20:49


World: Reports suggest fracturing within Arab League monitors in Syria

  • “It does not serve anything”: Those were the words of an unnamed Arab League monitor, decrying the lack of purpose and efficacy of the delegation in Syria. Just yesterday, an Algerian monitor named Anwar Malek left Syria, calling the effort “a farce,” a sentiment this anonymous skeptic agrees with: “The Syrian authorities have exploited the weakness in the performance of the delegation to not respond. There is no real response on the ground.” The U.N. estimates that of the over 5,000 people killed by the Syrian government in the last ten months, a whopping 400 have occurred since the monitors arrived. source

05 Jan 2012 10:51


World: Syria says it has freed political prisoners detained during revolt

  • 552 prisoners freed, according to Syrian state television source
  • » The second round of prisoner releases: Last month, the Arab League made a deal to free 755 detainees as part of a peace plan. Now it seems to have gone further, as the Arab League said on Monday it had secured the release of 3,500 total prisoners. However … it’s possible they may just be getting detained outside of the view of Arab League observers. Last week, Human Rights Watch accused Syria of moving prisoners to military facilities, where observers are not allowed to go. Syria hasn’t proven the most trustworthy government during the conflict.

03 Jan 2012 14:30


World: Arab League monitors leave Syria, violence ensues

  • The beat goes on: It wouldn’t exactly be accurate to suggest that Syrian security forces have been waiting until the delegation of monitors from the Arab League (with its very controversial leader) leave areas before continuing violence against the citizenry, sadly. Indeed, attacks and killings of civilians brazenly went on throughout the delegation’s visit to Douma. The monitors left Homs today, spurring another outburst of violence; the Arab League plans to review the work of the delegation, and their ongoing role amidst vocal criticisms from foreign governments, France among them. source

01 Jan 2012 15:31


World: Syria: Arab League-tied group recommends observers leave Syria

  • The killing of children and the violation of human rights law is happening in the presence of Arab League monitors, raising the fury of Arab people. The mission of the Arab League team has missed its aim of stopping the killing of children and ensuring the withdrawal of troops from the Syrian streets, giving the Syrian regime a cover to commit inhumane acts under the noses of the Arab League observers.
  • The Arab Parliament’s Kuwaiti head, Ali Salem al-Deqbasi • Strongly suggesting, along with the rest of Arab Parliament, that the Arab League’s observers should leave Syria, as the deaths of Syrians continue despite their presence. The 88-member Arab Parliament, while a sister organization of the Arab League that makes recommendations to the higher-profile group, its recommendations are non-binding. source

29 Dec 2011 14:23


World: Arab League monitors witness to gunfire in Homs

  • Not so “quiet”: As we mentioned yesterday, the leader of the group of monitors from the Arab League currently visiting Syria is a Sudanese general named Mohammed al-Dabi (whose record in that capacity has led human rights activists to denounce his role). Yesterday he insisted the violence stricken city of Homs was quiet, and that the monitors had not witnessed anything “frightening.” Today brought reports that, heading to the city hall in the capitol suburb of Douma, the monitors arrived as security forces opened fire on “tens of thousands.” source

29 Dec 2011 11:32


World: Syrian opposition activists cynical about Arab League observers

  • The people of Homs and the youth activists have no faith in the Arab League mission. It is clear now they are just another ploy by the Syrian regime to buy time. They are ineffective and have no resources to change the situation. But we are doing our part showing them what is happening in Homs, submitting evidence of killing and arbitrary arrest, and showing them what is happening.
  • Syrian opposition activist Khaled Abo Saleh • Criticizing the Arab League’s monitoring of the military’s crackdown in Homs. Saleh said that the killings in the region have declined since the Arab League got there, but they haven’t stopped completely. Activists have been critical of the choice of a Sudanese military official, Lt. Gen. Mohamed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi, as one of the observers. source

28 Dec 2011 15:19


World: Continued violence in Syria during Arab League visit

  • Do you trust this man? He is General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi, of the Sudanese military. During his tenure in Sudan, he’s thought to have had insight (if not evidence of direct involvement) into any number of gross human rights atrocities. He’s now leader of the Arab League delegation visiting the ravaged city of Homs in Syria, and despite reports of gunfire directed at protesters during the visit, al-Dabi stated that they did not see “anything frightening” and that it “was quiet.” Said Omer Ismail, of the anti-genocide Enough Project: “Instead of heading a team entrusted with a probe of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity by Syria, the general should be investigated by the ICC [International Criminal Court] for evidence of similar crimes in Sudan.” source