UN Leaders Pressure Syria To Keep Peace Agreement As it Continues Assaults On Civilians
Following Syrian acceptance of a peace plan brokered by Kofi Annan, and the UN Security Council voting to isue a statement backing the initiative, violence continues in Syria, with reports of 42 more killed.
As part of the plan, Assad's government forces are suppose to withdrawn from three key civilian regions and allow greater access by the Red Cross and Red Crescent for humanitarian reasons, but so far this has not happened. Assad has agreed to previous peace plans only to change his mind.
"All points of the plan are crucial, but one is most urgent: the need for cessation of violence," Annan said. "Clearly, the violence is still continuing. Alarming levels of casualties and other abuses continue to be reported daily. Military operations in civilian populations have not stopped."
The bloody crackdown on protestors wanting more freedom has continued since it started in March 2011, inspired by the Arab Spring in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, all of which were success in overthrowing their government for a new more democratic one.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently said the US does not support arming the rebels because, unlike Libya, there is no clear organize opposition with which to give the weapons to, though Saudi Arabia has repeatedly called for arming rebels.
Annan's six-point plan calls for authorities to stop troop movement toward populated centers and end the use of heavy weapons. It urges a cease-fire by the government and the opposition, and a Syrian-led political process to end the crisis. It implored the government to ensure "timely provision of humanitarian assistance" and intensify "the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons."
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has siad he will not step down, and many suspect that he will hold on to the end for fear of facing international crimes tribunal for crimes against humanity.
Since the crackdown by government forces began, the UN estimated over 9,000 have been killed.