With Christian, Muslim, Alawite, Sunni, Druze, Shia all hoping for their own revolutions, what can be done to stop civil war and create peace in Syria?
What began as a pro-democratic uprising against an authoritarian government regime, arguably has lost direction and been convoluted by religious differences. Edward Luck, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, told the UN News Centre yesterday that: “There are signs that the nature of the conflict has changed, and that is very worrisome,” He said he believed it had become “More of a sectarian conflict,” with targeted attacks against certain religious groups.
Paul Wood from the BBC, who has followed the Free Syrian Army (FSA)- in Homs -gave an appropriate description of the escalation in Syria. He reported the kidnapping by the FSA of Yousseff Hannah, a corporal, then- six Sunnis being kidnapped (Yousseff’s relatives), which was counter acted by the Bashar al-Assad government regime, with 20 Christians kidnapped. Paul Wood said: “The longer this continues, the more bodies pile up, the greater the desire for revenge on both sides. Civil war is not inevitable. But Homs today could be Syria tomorrow.”
The Sectarianism in Syria should not be a reason for the UN to justify their decision to take a back seat and do nothing. While religion can cause divisions, all religions and sects are ultimately fighting the same battle for freedom and democracy. Will America and Britain step up and do their world policing? Sir Mark Lyall-Grant the UK Ambassador and Permanent Representative addressed the UN General Assembly on Monday. “The people of Syria justifiably feel that the United Nations has shamefully abandoned their cause. We must, as individual member states and collectively, send them a clear signal that this is not the case. We must redouble our efforts to put an end to the violence in Syria.”Is supporting the FSA just going to prolong the conflict, add to the death toll and complicate political and religious differences further? What should be done?
Stephanie Edwards 23.02.12
Picture source: news.sky.com