Syrian violence slipping into sectarian war: Annan

Last Updated: Friday, September 14, 2012 - 21:15

Damascus: Former peace envoy to Syria Kofi Annan has warned that the violent struggle between the Syrian Government and opposition forces risks tearing the country apart and will spread the sectarian war across the region.

“If the international community doesn’t get its act together and find a way of pressuring the parties to give up their ambitions on the battlefield, we are going to see a situation where sectarian war will spread in Syria and probably go beyond its borders,” Annan said.

“Syria is not Libya. Libya imploded; Syria will not implode but in all likelihood explode, and explode beyond its borders. That mosaic of Syria, if we tear it apart, is going to be very difficult to put together again," quoted Annan, as saying.

According to the report, Annan called on the international community to ‘get its act together’.

He said that his successor Lakhdar Brahimi will need the support of all members of the UN Security Council, including Russia, to have a chance of a peaceful resolution to the Syrian crisis.

“Lakhdar Brahimi is experienced, he can make a contribution if he gets the support he needs - not passive support, but real support from the Security Council," he said.

Annan had quit as the UN and Arab League`s envoy to Syria in August, complaining of a lack of support from the Security Council, where Russia and China have blocked resolutions designed to put pressure on President Bashar al-Assad.

According to the report, Annan warned that ‘there can be no military solution’ to the challenge presented to Assad’s regime by the uprising which began in March 2011.

“Today, it looks as if both sides have decided the way to resolve this is through the battlefield, which is in my judgment the wrong approach. It is going to lead to protracted war with the possibility of inflaming the region and killing thousands and thousands of Syrians,” he added.


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First Published: Friday, September 14, 2012 - 21:15

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