20 People Killed in Syria Day After UN Resolution on Observer Mission
Today, just following the U.N. resolution on the deployment of 300 observers in Syria, 18 people have been reportedly killed in the central city of Hama. Thirty U.N. observers are expected to arrive in Syria this week. If U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon estimates the environment is safe enough, he will accept the deployment of the other observers. The opposition movement, the Syrian National Council (SNC) expressed doubts about the capacity of the mission to stop violence. On April 12, Syrian authorities agreed on a ceasefire plan proposed by U.N.-Arab League Special Envoy Kofi Annan. However, today, Lynn Pascoe, U.N. undersecretary-general for political affairs, told the Security Council during a debate on the Middle East, ”The cessation of armed violence remains incomplete.” British Foreign Secretary William Hague said, ”we need to continue to intensify pressure on the [Bashar al-Assad] regime.”
The European Union banned the sale of luxury goods and and products that can be used against protesters in Syria. It is the 14th set of sanctions against the country in a year. The luxury good ban directly targets the Assad loyalists including the business community which is a powerful support for the regime.
In a piece in the Foreign Policy, Josh Rogin, quoted Nobel Peace Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel speech calling on the U.S. and the foreign community to stop the “atrocities against civilians” perpetuated by Assad. The speech was given during a ceremony at Washington’s Holocaust museum in the presence of President Barak Obama. Reminding the audience the drama during the second War World, Wiesel stated ”the greatest tragedy in history could have been prevented had the civilized world spoken up, taken measures in 1939, ‘40, ‘41, ‘42,” he called the foreign community to take “measures to prevent another catastrophe.” President Obama in a the speech warned “with partners and allies we will keep increasing the pressure so that those who stick with Assad know that they are making a losing bet.”