Kofi Annan finally gave up on his efforts to restore peace in war-ravaged Syria, and resigned as the special peace envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League. He got frustrated due to “increasing militarization on the ground”, and “the clear lack of unity” at the U.N. Security Council. The mascot of peace said he made his decision of not to renew his mandate when it expires August 31, known to U.N. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, and Arab League Secretary-General, Nabil El Araby.
“I accepted this task, which some called ‘Mission Impossible,’ for I believed it was a sacred duty to do whatever was in my power to help the Syrian people find a peaceful solution to this bloody conflict,” Mr. Annan told reporters in Geneva. Expressing his thoughts, the man said, “The severity of the humanitarian costs of the conflict, and the exceptional threats posed by this crisis to international peace and security, justified the attempts to secure a peaceful transition to a political settlement, however daunting the challenge. The increasing militarization on the ground and the clear lack of unity in the Security Council have fundamentally changed the circumstances for the effective exercise of my role, Yet the bloodshed continues, most of all because of the Syrian government’s intransigence and continuing refusal to implement the six-point plan, and also because of the escalating military campaign of the opposition, all of which is compounded by the disunity of the international community. At a time when we need — when the Syrian people desperately need action, there continues to be finger-pointing and name-calling in the Security Council.”
The Syrian crisis started 17 months ago, in March 2011, when the authorities used forces to suppress peaceful protesters resulting in a nationwide uprising. According to opposition groups more than 20,000 people have died, thousands have been held as captives, and tens of thousands have been displaced from their homes. Even the UN Security council is divided on the issue, among the five permanent members of the council, Russia and China have been continuously against the tough action by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, while United States, Britain, and France have been supporting the humanitarian catastrophe.
Mr. Annan, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and former United Nations secretary general, accepted in February to act as a special representative, representing both the United Nations and the Arab League to negotiate peace plan. Within few months he was able to negotiate on a six-point proposal, which includes withdrawal of Syrian government troops from populated areas, so that anti-Assad fighters could surrender their weapons. One other major point of the plan was process for a political transition, which would have resulted in replacing Mr. Assad, a member of Syria’s Alawite minority, whose family has dominated Syrian politics for four decades. However, the plan never worked out, as Mr. Assad never kept his words to abide by the peace plan.
Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, told sources that the search is on for the successor to Mr. Annan. However there was no news on who might replace Mr. Annan.