The anti-government protests in mid-may 2011, calling for release of political prisoners led to a never ending armed conflict between the protestors and the government. I believe it’s the greatest humanitarian crisis that I have seen in my lifetime. The numbers are staggering when it comes to refugees, internal displacements, injured and dead. The Assad government is not willing to bow down to the protestors bringing in reforms; rather they have subjected the civilians to arbitrary detention, torture, and the deployment and use of heavy artillery. What’s worse is that the government doesn’t own up their crimes rather constantly deny placing the blame for the violence on armed groups and terrorists, and yet denying humanitarian access to civilians.
I will let the numbers speak for itself.
- Internal Displacement – 6.5 million
- Number of Deaths – 190,000
- Number of Refugees – 4 million
- Number of Children caught in the crisis – 6744544
Apart from this there is severe shortage of food, water and healthcare. We all know what happened, as in how the rebels united themselves, the chemical attack, mass executions and the human rights violations. Despite the six points peace agenda proposed by former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, the crisis is yet to resolve. It’s actually getting worse day by day, especially for the Syrian children. The UN nations have already made its largest appeal for a single crisis of USD 6.5 billion which is required immediately.
I may not have inside out account of the whole situation down there, but I believe armed conflict could have been avoided. In India we see protests but they never turn violent. A chemical attack by the government on its citizens was something unthinkable. The emergence of the ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) which now controls 70% of Syria was the last thing that was needed. Russia and China’s role in UN should have been more pro-active. Russia and China attracted significant criticism from Arab and Western leaders for their economic, political and military ties to Syria, and because they vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions which had included language citing the responsibility of the Assad government.
The world now doesn’t know who to support, the Assad regime which performs chemical attacks or the Syrian Rebels which continue to violate human rights. Amidst all of this, there are millions of humans who are suffering, and their future lies on the hands of the people of the rest of world. I believe strong action should be taken to restore democracy in Syria. Assistance to the neighbouring countries and rehabilitation process should be initiated as soon as possible. In order to ensure that rebellion doesn’t break out again systematic planning and the development roadmap should be designed in alignment with the public consultations. Syria should be under the rule of the Security Council for the next 10 years to help the nation get on its feet.
Let us not ignore any more. Let us not shut our ears to the cry of Syrian people.
People ask me why I want to visit the middle-east. I reply may be I like the middle-east. They reiterate but nobody likes the middle-east. I smile and say…maybe that’s the problem.
By Rahul Choudhury
Media Team – Fiinovation