Is the ceasefire enough for Syria? By Foteini Karakatsani
The brokering of peace through the Annan’s six-point plan was undoubtedly an important step for Syria especially after the recent stagnation of the 13-month conflict.
However, the ceasefire is still fragile and highly uncertain. From the very first day of its implementation, neither Syrian government forces nor opposition fighters abstained from violence. Human casualties continued to increase despite the commitment of both sides to respect the Annan plan. As usual, the violent incidents triggered the “war of accusations”; Syrian government stated that “terrorists” performed attacks in order to destabilize the situation while activists blamed Assad’s regime for shooting against crowd protesting peacefully.
On the international level, the UN still carries on its efforts to calm down tension. After the deployment of a small mission, the Organization’s decision to send another mission of 300 observers seems to be crucial for the country’s future. Nevertheless, critical issues related to the mission remained open, as it was not specified how and when it will be deployed. Moreover, its limited duration (only up to three months) does not secure its effectiveness.
Therefore, it is evident that international community has to step up its attempts to propose a viable solution for the country. The ceasefire as well as the deployment of the UN mission are pivotal steps and depict the Western determination to lead Syria into a new era. On the other side, it is important to consider what kind of state will emerge and who will be the one in charge. Obviously, President Assad and his regime count their last days in power (although we cannot exactly predict how much time has been left), just trying to prolong the period of their domination. This is the reason why Assad accepted the UN’s interference, as he hoped that its mediation would be capable to defuse the crisis. Finally, it is now the time for the opposition to prove that it can control its rebel forces for the sake of Syria and constitute a serious and alternative government solution for the next day.