Need for Robust Action, in Syria
Close to 14 thousand people have been killed in 15 months in Syria. Human rights have been violated, and human dignity has been lost. The Houla massacre has drawn attention, but has spurred no concrete action. Something must be done, to stem the rot.
"The question is ,how long are we going to tolerate these atrocities? Is this enough? 49 children massacred over the weekend. How long do we have to wait for more robust action?", asks Jennifer Trahan, an international lawyer.
The violence in Syria has now reached the 15-month mark. Some estimates say between 12 to 14 thousand people have been killed.
"We've seen atrocities now. They have been characterized as crimes against humanity. Including murder, summary execution over the weekend- including children, potential war crimes. The crime is to the extent that the situation is one of armed conflict. So we have extremely grave crimes being committed, and the need for robust action," adds Trahan.
Yet, the United Nations Security Council, still hasn't moved on a resolution for action, against the Assad regime. Both Russia and China are blocking it.
But Jennifer Trahan., who also serves as a professor at NYU's Center for Global Affairs, says there is a doctrine. It's known as the 'responsibility to protect', and that should be followed.
"The first is for the state itself to protect its citizens- and that’s completely failing here. The second, is for the international community to assist that state. That is not working here either. Our third pillar is for the international community to come up with prompt, robust action,” explains the prefessor.
UN observers have confirmed, dozens of women and children were gunned down, over the weekend. Some of them were bound and killed, execution style. This only renews Trahan's call to the Security Council members.
"The situation could be referred to the International Criminal Court. That’s no substitute for robust action. But that's something the Security Council could be doing”, says Trahan. . The professor sent a letter to Security Council members, urging action, back in March. Noting Libya had been referred to the International Criminal Court, much earlier.
Trahan emphasizes, "The killing hadn't reached anywhere near the fatality figures we are seeing. And we had the referral in that situation. Both for the sake of the people on the ground, and for the sake of the credibility of the Security council, they should act.”
UN Special Envoy, Kofi Annan's peace plan, is failing. A cease-fire is not being honored by the Syrian government. International military action of some degree, may be necessary.
"Humanitarian corridors are no-fly zones. It does not mean full -scale use of force. The UN Charter does require the Security Council to endorse this action. There should be consistent pressure on Russia and China to endorse this action.” concludes Trahan.
In a situation of escalating violence, maybe military intervention is necessary. But will the powers that be, sanction this? That is a question only time will answer.
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