By April 23, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

This is Syria Today… Here’s What We Can Do About It.

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More Syrian civilians have died in the past year than all the civilians and military who have died fighting in Israel and Palestine since 1948. That’s some seriously depressing perspective. For some reason, however, the global community seems almost numb to the plight of Syrian civilians who have been caught in the middle of the latest battle between the Assad Dynasty and various competing resistance groups.

The disturbing photograph above documents the line for food at Syria’s Yarmouk refugee camp. Extremely small amounts of aid have managed to get through to Syrian civilians recently, but time and time again, delivery has been suspended citing ongoing security concerns.

It seems that there is little we can do to help. But Amnesty International, believes that we can all work together with the international community “to address the issues that are fueling the conflict in Syria and exacerbating its impact on civilians.”

They have enumerated the following examples of what we can do, without requiring yet another war or military intervention.

  • Push the international community to address the needs of more than 2 million refugees and 4.25 million internally displaced inside Syria, especially women and children, through financial contributions from countries with the means–European countries, North America, the Gulf states and elsewhere — and expanded resettlement and humanitarian admission programs;
  • Urge the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria — including the countless incidents of abuses amounting to war crimes and other crimes against humanity which Amnesty International has documented– to the International Criminal Court;
  • Urge the UN Security Council to freeze the assets of Bashar al Assad and his close associates;
  • Stop the flow of arms to the Syrian government by pushing for an arms embargo through the UN Security Council, and calling on all nations to halt arms shipments to the government;
  • Stop any arms transfers to armed opposition groups in Syria where there is a substantial risk of the group committing serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law;
  • Secure unfettered access for non-governmental organizations and relief agencies to affected populations, both inside and outside Syria;
  • Call for the dispatch of international human rights monitors to investigate and report on human rights abuses in Syria; and
  • Call on all parties to the Syrian conflict to afford the UN Commission of Inquiry unfettered access to investigate abuses, including war crimes and other crimes against humanity, including chemical weapons use.

Amnesty International emphasized that “The United States alone cannot dictate the outcome in Syria. However, as a member of the UN Security Council and a preeminent global actor, it has a crucial role to play in leading and supporting efforts to promote the rule of law and address the factors that are fueling the conflict and exacerbating its toll on civilians.”

What do you think? Will these steps help? Or will it take something more to help the people of Syria?

(Article by M.B. David; image via the Guardian)

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