Annan Urges ‘Bold Steps’ to End Syrian Violence

With the recent massacre in Syria sparking widespread condemnation, 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.

SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon (right) greets the former UN Secretary-General and newly-appointed Joint UN-Arab League Special Envoy on the Syrian Crisis, Kofi Annan, as he arrives at UN Headquarters.

UN Photo/Mark Garten

Mr. Annan arrived in the Syrian capital of Damascus yesterday, just days after a massacre of over 100 men, women and children in the village of Houla. He described the massacre as “an appalling crime.”

Mr. Annan also stressed the importance of the full implementation of the six-point plan, which he put forward in March this year.

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.