The Foreign Affairs magazine on Wednesday published an article by renowned journalist Janine di Giovanni calling on the international community not to allow Russia to continue with its support for Bashar al-Assad. The article came a fay days following the UN’s appointment of Norwegian diplomat Geir Pedersen as a new special envoy to Syria in place of outgoing envoy Staffan de Mistura.
Giovanni stressed that Syria’s future must not include Assad, and any settlement must provide a mechanism for transitional justice, such that the perpetrators of horrific crimes against humanity can be sought out and tried.
“Six million people are displaced inside the country, and five million more have left as refugees. Nearly 14 million—out of a prewar population of 22 million—need humanitarian assistance,” Giovanni added.
Giovanni noted that “the human rights abuses—which include mass incarceration, torture, and rape, as well as chemical weapons attacks against civilians and starvation as a tool of war—are among the worst I have ever seen in three decades of conflict analysis and reporting.”
“Another winter is coming, and with it a desperate time for the refugees living in settlements and the civilians trapped in places like Idlib, Ghouta, and Aleppo, the last of which was pulverized by Russian and Syrian bombs.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)