The head of the Syrian Negotiation Commission, Nasr al-Hariri, stressed that a "sustainable" political solution in Syria comes only through the formation of a Transitional Governing Body (TGB) with full executive powers in line with the UN Security Council resolutions, especially the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN resolution 2254.
The formation of the TGB is the "first step" towards reaching a political solution in Syria, Hariri said. He said that this depends on the will of the international community and Russia as well as the legitimacy of this demand in accordance with the international resolutions. He stressed that the formation of the TGB is key to implementing the UN Security Council resolution and the creation of a safe, neutral environment.
Hariri stressed the importance of implementing the humanitarian provision of the UN resolutions, including the release of detainees and holding war criminals accountable. He stressed that there will be no sustainable peace "without transitional justice.”
Moreover, Hariri pointed out that the Assad regime and Russia insist on a military solution, especially in the ‘de-escalation zone’ in northwestern Syria which claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians. He added that this coincided with the Assad regime and Russia’s obstruction of the formation of a Constitutional Committee and stalling the political process altogether.
Hariri called on the UN and the main stakeholders to follow a new path to the political solution. He said: "We must return to the international resolutions that shaped the political solution in Syria, namely through the formation of TGB according to a specific timeline.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The continued bombing campaign by the Assad regime and Russia has so far killed hundreds of civilians, including children and women in the ‘de-escalation zone’ in northwestern Syria.
In a report released on Friday, the Syrian Network for Human Rights said that it had registred the names of 522 civilians, including 129 children and 99 women, who have been killed since the start of the bombing campaign.
The Network said that at least 1,612 other civilians were wounded in the period between April 26 and June 28.
According to the report, the Assad regime supported by the Russian air force attacked 33 medical facilities, 77 schools, 47 mosques, and three IDP camps.
The Emergency Response Coordination Team on Monday said that at least 89,144 households, or about 579,257 people, have been displaced in northwestern Syria since April 29. It noted that the displaced people fled to around 35 locations in the Shield of the Euphrates and the Olive Branch areas as well as to the IDP camps near the border with Turkey.
The European Union on Friday expressed its deep concern over the escalating attacks by the Assad regime and Russia on residential areas and medical centers.
The Syrian Coalition on Saturday discussed the military escalation with a delegation from the US State Department and with the French President's Special Envoy for Syria. The Coalition called on the governments of the two countries to take action outside the UN Security Council to put an end to the military attacks targeting civilian and healthcare facilities. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
A leading international rights group said in a new report that the Assad regime is co-opting humanitarian aid and reconstruction assistance and sometimes using it to "entrench repressive policies."
Human Rights Watch called on donors and investors to ensure their contributions are used for the good of the Syrian people.
The Assad regime has developed a policy and legal framework to divert "reconstruction resources to fund its atrocities, punish those perceived as opponents, and benefit those loyal to it,” the New York-based group said in a 91-page report released in Geneva on Friday.
The report, “Rigging the System: Government Policies Co-Opt Aid and Reconstruction Funding in Syria,” looks at the Assad regime’s policies for and restrictions on humanitarian assistance and reconstruction and development funding to Syria.
“While seemingly benign, the Syrian government’s aid and reconstruction policies are being used to punish perceived opponents and reward its supporters,” said Lama Fakih, acting Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
“The Syrian government’s aid framework undermines human rights, and donors need to ensure they are not complicit in the government’s human rights violations.”
The report is based on 33 interviews with aid workers, donors, experts, and beneficiaries, as well as a review of publicly available data on humanitarian and development assistance and reconstruction.
Human Rights Watch found that the Assad regime restricts the access of humanitarian organizations to communities that need or allegedly receive aid, selectively approves aid projects, and imposes requirements to partner with security-vetted local actors.
“Humanitarian groups operating in Syria who are forced to accede to government demands may compromise their ability to serve populations in a rights-respecting manner. They have very little leverage to negotiate with the Assad regime.”
“Entities engaged in the monumental task of reconstructing Syria face many of the same problems, including restricted access to project areas and the requirement to partner with individuals or organizations implicated in abuse,” HRW added.
The watchdog group said that donors can operationalize a clearinghouse mechanism and create a consortium for humanitarian aid in Syria so that organizations and agencies adopt the same criteria for programming and prevent backsliding in standards when engaging with the government. Alongside humanitarian organizations, they should ensure that all humanitarian programming is accompanied by an independent monitoring system.
The Syrian Coalition earlier warned of the Assad regime’s exploitation of humanitarian aid and co-opting it to serve repressive policies against civilians.
The Coalition stressed that any country contributing to reconstruction efforts under the Assad regime will be seen as supporting the regime and its crimes against humanity. Reconstruction must be reached through a political solution, which will restore security and stability in the whole country. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)