Kofi Annan’s resignation as peace envoy to Syria appears to greatly diminish any future hope of ending escalating violence in the country.
Annan announced his resignation last week after a frustrating six month effort that failed to achieve even a temporary cease-fire as the country plunged deeper into civil war.
“It is impossible for me or anyone to compel the Syrian government and also the opposition to take the steps to bring about the political process,” said Annan, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former United Nations secretary general.
“You have to understand: As an envoy, I can’t want peace more than the protagonists, more than the Security Council or the international community for that matter.”
Speaking to reporters, Annan strongly criticized inaction by world powers and had harsh words for Syrian rebels for their growing militancy and the intransigence of the Syrian regime, saying it was clear that President Bashar al-Assad “must leave office.”
Annan was right to spread the blame.
Since taking the job, a divided U.N. Security Council has failed to forcefully back his efforts to resolve the crisis.
The Syrian’s government’s increased use of violence and the opposition’s increased militarization contributed to dooming Annan’s six-point peace plan, which included a cease-fire and a Syrian-led political process to end the crisis.
Now that Annan has resigned as peace envoy, efforts at a ceasefire and a political process to end the crisis appear doomed.
Amnesty International called Annan’s departure the “culmination of a string of failures.”
Despite the deteriorating situation in Syria, President Barack Obama must resist demands for the United States to militarily intervene in the civil war. Military intervention usually leads to unintended consequences
This is an international crisis that should be resolved mainly by the Syrian people with the assistance of the Arab League and world powers.