UN credibility on the line as new massacre in Syria reported
The UN may not be able to save Syria.
The UN Human Rights Council is meeting today amid reports of a fresh massacre in Syria by pro-government irregular militias. The reports emerge as the Council meets to discuss the recent slaughter of more than 100 civilians in Houla, Syria.
Civilians buried in a mass grave following the Houla massacre. Almost half were children.
Meanwhile, new reports say that Assad loyalists murdered 11 factory workers as an example to people living in rebel-controlled territory.
Allegedly, the 11 victims were returning home from work at a fertilizer plant when their bus was stopped by pro-government forces. Assad loyalists targeted the bus because the people on board came from an area presently controlled by rebels, but must pass through a government checkpoint each day.
After being taken off the bus, the men had their hands bound behind their backs and were shot at close range. There is no evidence to suggest the men were involved in the uprising. Instead, it is alleged that the killings were meant to intimidate others and show that rebel forces cannot protect the civilians in areas they control.
The UN, the Arab league, as well as efforts from the US, Turkey, and Qatar have all been aimed at finding a peaceful resolution to the crisis, but no matter what deal is arranged, pro-Assad forces have established a pattern of breaking the terms - then promptly blaming the opposition.
UN special envoy, Kofi Annan has said that he is "frustrated" - strong language from a UN official.
Meanwhile, Russia and China systematically stop all efforts to take action through the UN Security Council. Both countries refuse to support any resolution that appears aimed at regime change.
Russia and China have lucrative contracts with the Syrian government and could ultimately lose billions if a new Syrian government were to trade freely with the West.
Ultimately, the credibility of the UN Security Council and the UN as a body designed to resolve disputes between nations hangs in the balance. Without strong compulsory action from the UN, it appears Assad and his regime will continue to massacre innocent people in their bid to retain power. That action appears impossible given the current political situation and the makeup of the Security Council.
If Assad is ousted, it will not likely be because of the UN, but rather because other nations decide to act unilaterally to end the bloodshed.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Syria, Annan, massacre, civilians, Assad, Security Council, Russia, China, US
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