Human rights activists working in Syria said on Sunday that as many as five innocent civilians were shot dead by the security forces loyal to the regime. Violence against civilians continues even after the much-touted cease-fire was implemented last Thursday. Security forces and rebels continue to blame each other for the violence, while the international community is struggling to restore peace and stability in the country. President Bashar al-Assad is still convinced that the rebels are creating panic and chaos across the country through violence and targeted killing.
The United Nations-Arab League special envoy to Syria,appears to have partially succeeded in convincing the dictator for cessation of violence against innocent civilians. However, the international community is still skeptical about the intentions of the dictator to observe complete cease-fire and initiate dialogue with the opposition.
Human rights activists said on Sunday that the security forces loyal to the regime pounded Homs. The city is dominated by opponents of the dictator and he wants to crush the rebels through violence and force.
On the other hand, government officials are blaming the rebels for not observing the cease-fire. They allege the opposition forces have mounted attacks on the security forces since the Syrian government agreed for cease-fire on April 1. Government officials have been demanding the international community to mount pressure on the opposition forces to observe complete cease-fire so that a genuine peace process could be initiated.
Six UN observers are scheduled to reach Syrian capital Damascus today (Sunday) to observe the proposed peace process.
According the United Nations Security Council’s resolution passed on Saturday, the observers are mandated to monitor the halt of violence on all sides, besides taking into account the six-point peace agenda prepared and presented by Kofi Annan. The agenda includes release of political prisoners and provision of humanitarian aid to the opposition forces stranded in different population centers. As per the resolution, the government is also bound to provide access to foreign journalists to the violence-hit areas. The dictator is also urged to allow peaceful demonstrations in different parts of the country.
The UN has been seriously struggling to restore normalcy in Syria and it is yet to be seen whether the observers succeed in their mission or just prove to be a futile exercise. It is perhaps last chance for peace to prevail in the country; otherwise anarchy and chaos can easily grip the country.
Human rights activists working in the violence-wracked country opine that more than 9,000 civilians have been killed so far, while no exact number of political detainees is available.
Bashar al-Assad should cease the opportunity to restore normalcy in the country and force the rebels to lay down arms so that a peace process could be initiated with complete sincerity.