World Awaits Fate of Peace Plan, Opposition Divided
Spokesman Ahmed Fawzi said Kofi Annan received confirmation from the Syrian government that it had begun to withdraw from several cities on Thursday in line with Annan’s six-point peace plan, but activists reported that nothing had changed. A planning team of 10, led by Norwegian Army former Chief of Staff Major-General Robert Mood, arrived in Syria to decide how U.N. monitors might oversee the truce.
The International community remains skeptical about Syrian President’s Bashar al Assad’s commitment to the withdrawal and subsequent ceasefire. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said that he thinks Assad “is deceiving us” and said affirmed that he was not optimistic.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia would support a Security Council resolution enforcing the April 10 deadline “if it does not level ‘threats and ultimatums.” Kori Schake criticizes the Barack Obama Administration in Foreign Policy that the U.S. “continues to chase rather than affect policy change,” and that “Syrians are paying the price for our “diplomatic nicety.”
As debate about how best to end the Syrian crisis mounts, the opposition remains divided. Viktoria Kleber writes that factions of the opposition continue jostling for influence as she questions the credibility of the Syrian National Council as representative of the opposition. Areyeh Neier argues for an Arab War-Crimes court to be created to distribute justice to the tens of thousands of torturers and fighters from Assad’s to ensure that the Syrian government “pays a price for slaughtering their citizens.”
From Damascus, an anonymous observer writes that Syrians, even those that have stood by the regime, have begun to suffer. As the Assad regime “can no longer guarantee the stability and security” of its supporters, signs that loyalists have begun to doubt the regime are increasingly visible across Syria.