Is Sectarian Warfare Growing in Syria?

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With the crisis reaching a “tipping point” after the massacre in the Syrian village of Houla, the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States Kofi Annan today warned of the growing sectarian aspect of the crisis in Syria.

Mr. Annan asserts that the conflict is already having serious consequences in the region.

He calls calling on the international community to work together to push for the implementation of the six-point peace plan.

“The specter of all-out civil war, with a worrying sectarian dimension, grows by the day.”- Mr. Annan

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A view inside the Human Rights Council Chamber during the Council’s special session on the deteriorating human rights situation in Syria and the recent killings in ElHouleh.

UN Photo/Pierre Albouy

On his remarks before the Arab Ministerial Committee on Syria in Doha, Mr. Annan notes that the crisis is having regional spillover, in the form of tensions and incidents across the border, abductions of nationals and foreigners, and refugee flows to neighbouring states.

“The situation is complex, and it takes everyone involved in the crisis to act responsibly if the violence is to stop. But the first responsibility lies with the Syrian Government, and with President Assad.” – Mr. Annan

Mr. Annan urges President Assas to release detainees, fully open up to international humanitarian assistance, and allow people to express their views freely in peaceful protest to show his seriousness to the Syrian people and the international community.

Mr. Annan also emphasized the importance of the international community acting in unity to be able to put pressure on the Syrian Government and all other parties to the conflict to stop the violence, and prevent it from spreading further.

“Let me appeal to all of you to engage earnestly and seriously with all other stakeholders, mindful that if regional and international divisions play out in Syria, the Syrian people and the region – your region – will pay the price.” -Mr. Annan

He says the time is coming for a serious review. The international community must decide what it does next he added.

He notes that the international community must work together more effectively to push for implementation of the six point plan in full.

“We must think this through and we must get it right.” -Mr. Annan

Mr. Annan is set to New York next week to brief the General Assembly and the Security Council on 7 June.

Yesterday the UN Human Rights Council asked its Commission of Inquiry on Syria to conduct a “transparent, independent and probe into violations of international law with a view to hold to account those responsible for widespread.

Last week, Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian Crisis, Kofi Annan visited Damascus for an urgent meeting with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

In a meeting with the Syrian President, Kofi Annan urged the Syrian leader to take “bold steps” to stop the violence and release detainees.

Mr. Annan also conveyed frankly “the grave concern of the international community about the violence in Syria,” and, in particular, the events in Houla over the weekend.

Last week, massacre in Syria’s Houla village in the early hours of 26th of May has reportedly killed 108 civilians, including over 30 children.

Reports say artillery and tank shells were fired in the Syrian village killing hundreds of civilians.

The violence took place in and around the town of Houla, near Homs, after an anti-government protest.

The Security Council voiced condemnation of the recent massacre of men, women and children inHoula.

In addition, the United States of America also expressed condemnation in the massacre in the Syrian village of Haoula.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United Nations observers have confirmed that dozens of men, women, and children were killed and hundreds more wounded in a vicious assault that involved a regime artillery and tank barrage on a residential neighborhood.

She stressed that those who perpetrated this atrocity must be identified and held to account.

And the United States will work with the international community to intensify our pressure on Asad and his cronies, whose rule by murder and fear must come to an end, she added.

The violence in Syria, which began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa, has claimed over 9,000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.

Australia has expelled the Syrian Charge d’Affairs and one other diplomat. Other countries followed suit, including Britain, France, Germany and Italy expelling Syrian Ambassadors from their countries.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.