The Annan plan vs. al-Assad’s time game
The Syrian regime has agreed to accept the plan announced by the joint United Nations-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan. Al-Assad thinks time is on their side and that they’re going to prevail while the rest of the world is quite busy. Before questioning the Baathist regime’s move, let’s recall what the U.N.
Security Council resolution was about. In general, this resolution, more or less, is no different from Turkish and Arab League calls. In short, it demands the Syrian regime stop the massacres.
1) Commit to work with the envoy in an inclusive, Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people;
So, in coming days/weeks, if not months, the U.N. is expecting al-Assad to collaborate with Mr. Annan as it was expected he would with Davutoğlu and the Arab League since last summer.
2) Commit to stop the fighting and achieve, urgently, an effective U.N.-supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians and stabilize the country. To this end, the Syrian government should immediately cease troop movements toward, and end the use of heavy weapons in, population centers, and begin the pullback of military concentrations in and around population centers.
So, the U.N. is seeking that the Baathist regime stop military operations and work with the envoy to reach a ceasefire. The same approach is expected from the opposition as well.
3) Ensure timely provision of humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the fighting, and to this end, as immediate steps, to accept and implement a daily two-hour humanitarian pause;
So, although Mr. Annan is seeking an immediate ceasefire according to resolution item number 2, the U.N. is, paradoxically, asking the al-Assad regime to give a daily two-hour break for humanitarian aid.
4) Intensify the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons, including especially
vulnerable categories of persons, and persons involved in peaceful political activities, provide without delay through appropriate channels a list of all places in which such persons are being detained and respond promptly to all written requests for information, access or release regarding such persons;
So, the U.N. is expecting the al-Assad regime to assume full accountability regarding detainees, prisoners and missing persons.
5) Ensure freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists and a non-discriminatory visa policy for them;
So, the resolution is asking the Baathist regime to lift its embargo on freedom of movement and censorship of journalists. And, this is expected when just last week all Syrian males between 18 and 42 were banned from traveling outside the country.
6) Respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed.
So, UN wants to see the al-Assad regime, which killed most of the 8,000+ people killed during demonstrations, to allow people to protest freely.
I hope this magnificent plan works. Just to note; the Annan plan even might have been welcomed in a dictatorship. Unfortunately, the al-Assad regime is not even a dictatorship; it is a messy gangster-ship.
And the Syrian gangster-regime knows quite well what this six-point plan means.