January 23, 2012
The Syrian leadership has rejected the Arab League’s transition plan aimed at curbing violence in the country. The authorities say it does not reflect the will of the people and violates the country’s sovereignty.
“Syria rejects the decisions taken which are outside an Arab working plan, and considers them an attack on its national sovereignty and a flagrant interference in internal affairs,” state TV quoted an official as saying.
Grave abuses by both sides – that was the conclusion of the report by the League of Arab States (LAS) monitors. The League’s foreign ministers called on President Bashar al-Assad to delegate power to his vice president and form a national unity government with the opposition.
The Syrian official reacting to the Arab League’s call said the regional body should instead “assume its responsibilities for stopping the financing and arming of terrorists,” the television channel reported.
According to the unnamed official, the Arab League initiative runs counter to the interests of the Syrian people and would not prevent the country from “advancing its political reforms and bringing security and stability to its people who have shown, during this crisis, their support for national unity as they have rallied around President Assad.”
The Arab League has also called for international support by preparing their case for the UN Security council. It is the extra push many people in Syria have been calling for.
From Deera to Idlib to Homs the conflict has moved closer to the country’s capital with many Damascus suburbs now also embroiled in the conflict between government forces and the armed opposition.
Empty houses, broken glass scattered on the floor, bullet holes lining the walls, clothes left behind where people have fled. These are the devastating consequences the conflict has had on the daily lives of Syrians.
Picking up the pieces will not be easy. There are areas of the country where it is unclear who is in control. And the conflict is becoming increasingly violent amongst different factions of the opposition, where worrying divisions are becoming more evident.
Arab League observers look set to remain in the country for another month trying to build the basis for multi-party elections overseen by the international community. But with thousands killed and the opposition in disarray, bringing the different factions to the negotiating table is going to be a major task.