- By Troy Dauksys
- Published: April 17th, 2012
Secretary-General coerces Syrian government into agreeing to a ceasefire with militant citizens
Imagine fighting for survival every day for more than a year in your own country. Imagine being unable to pursue happiness and freedom — something many Americans take for granted today. Imagine witnessing loved ones being massacred right before your eyes.
Obviously, that’s not something anyone would be eager to imagine — unless you are the president of Syria, and your name is Bashar al-Assad — a monster that has turned his government into a destructive killing machine.
According to the NY Times, Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan negotiated a fragile cease-fire to go into effect in Syria on Thursday.
“I am encouraged by reports that the situation in Syria is relatively quiet and that the cessation of hostilities appears to be holding,” Annan said. “Syria is apparently experiencing a rare moment of calm on the ground.”
In the NY Times’ article Annan also said, “This is the time for all Syrians to come together in the hope that they can begin to heal their wounds and initiate a political transition to a democratic, plural political system in which citizens have equal rights and equal opportunities, regardless of their affiliations or ethnicities or beliefs.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “The onus is on the government of Syria to prove that their words will be matched by their deeds at this time.”
In a Department of State press release, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called the decision “an important step,” stressing that Syria must do more to comply with the peace plan. She included that the United States would continue supporting opponents of Assad, with the exception of supplying weapons.
“We remain firmly resolved that the regime’s war against its own people must end for good and a political transition must begin,” Clinton said in her statement. “Assad will have to go and the Syrian people must be given a chance to chart their own future.”
While I strongly doubt that Assad’s regime has demonstrated any kind of remorse for its cruel and destructive behavior, there was finally a small ounce of hope that the people of Syria could begin to live without fear after the year-long shelling that has killed roughly 10,000 individuals — some of whom were renowned journalists gathering the truth about life in Syria. Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, Syrian officials have already failed to uphold their obligations concerning the cease-fire.
According to an article in the LA Times, “Just hours into a cease-fire between the Syrian government and the opposition, the truce was already on shaky ground as more than a dozen people were reported killed and there was no sign that government tanks and heavy-weapons had been withdrawn from contested areas.”
Personally, I seriously doubt a successful follow-through on behalf of Annan’s “words of encouragement” toward Syrian citizens and its ability to transform the country’s government. In addition, perhaps Syria is experiencing a “rare moment of calm” — for lack of a better term — simply because large quantities of Syrian citizens have been wrongfully murdered, and let’s not forget the continuation of deaths, even during the cease-fire. We can only wait and see if Annan’s plans will turn out to be effective. Needless to say, as long as Assad is president of Syria, we could be waiting for quite some time to see any improvement. Who’s to know how many more individuals will be murdered in the process? This guy has “got to go.”