SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) — UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan says the specter of all-out civil war is looming over Syria and has warned that a larger regional conflict could break out if the bloodshed is not halted in the near future.
“But we do not have what this was set up to achieve -- an end to the appalling violence and abuses, and the launch of a political process for a transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people,” Annan said, referring to his six-point plan, during a meeting with representatives of Arab League member states in Doha on Saturday, Reuters reported.
Annan called on all sides to stop the fighting before it turns into a serious conflagration, saying, “The specter of all-out civil war, with a worrying sectarian dimension, grows by the day.”
He also expressed concern that the fighting in Syria could spill over into neighboring countries unless it is controlled, adding, “I felt the concerns of Syria’s immediate neighbors very acutely in my consultations in recent days.”
He went on to say that UN monitors can only help implement the six-point peace plan after peace and stability is established in Syria and stopping the violence is not part of the monitors’ job.
Annan’s six-point plan, effective from mid-April, calls for the establishment of a cease-fire between the government and the opposition and also says humanitarian groups should be allowed to have access to the population, detainees should be released, and a political dialogue should be started.
The unrest in Syria began in March 2011, with demonstrations being held both against and in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.
The West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of killing protesters, but Damascus blames “outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad. — www.shafaqna.com