05/14/2014, 00.00
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Lakhdar Brahimi, UN envoy to Syria, steps down from "mission impossible"

His resignation will be effective from May 31. The Algerian diplomat sorry "to leave Syria in a situation so bad ." Ban Ki-moon praised his "great patience" and criticizes the warring parties and the international community's divisions.

New York City (AsiaNews) - The Algerian Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN and the Arab League envoy to seek a peaceful solution to the civil war in Syria, is stepping down from the mission many termed as " impossible".

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, made ​​the announcement yesterday "with great regret", stating that the resignation will be effective from May 31 and that so far a successor has not been designated.

In August 2012, Brahimi had taken over from former UN chief Kofi Annan, who had failed to even obtain a cease-fire from the warring parties, the regime of Bashar el Assad and the fractured opposition -the components of which are often at war with each other.

The Algerian diplomat succeeded in bringing about talks in January last in Geneva, where the two parties sat down face to face for the first time, but the dialogue collapsed after a few weeks without any solution to the civil war which since March 2011 has left over 150 thousand people dead and almost 10 million internally displaced persons and refugees.

Brahimi said he was " sorry to leave Syria ... in such a bad state"; Ban Ki-moon has praised his "great patience" highlighting "the almost impossible obstacles" that he has faced.

Ban also criticized the Assad regime and the opposition for the failure of the dialogues. And he admitted that the UN "has been unable to deliver any progress" and that the international community is "hopelessly divided".

The Geneva talks took place at the behest of the United States , the main opposition sponsor, and Russia, the main supporter of Assad. But the trend of recent months makes it increasingly difficult to agree on an international or local level.

On the ground, the Syrian army is achieving several victories against the rebels and Damascus is pushing ahead with the campaign for the presidential elections, boycotted as a "bluff" by the opposition. Brahimi had expressed his doubts about the elections several times, which could become a stumbling block to any attempt at dialogue .

At the same time , the opposition is increasingly divided between the "secular" and "Islamic" fringes; the latter - especially the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the Al Nousra front - continue to kill each other and to oppress the people with gruesome executions and fundamentalist Islamic rules.

At the international level, relations between the U.S. and Russia have drastically chilled, following the Ukrainian crisis, and it is almost impossible to envisage their collaboration on the Middle East.

However, the real victims of this situation remain the Syrian people, subjected to continuous bombardments and sieges by the Damascus army, or forced into starvation, thirst and murder by the rebels. Not even the people of the world are being listened to: September last, when a military attack against Syria was imminent, the peoples of many nations spoke out against the military action desired by their political leaders, participating in the vigil of fasting prayer and launched by Pope Francis on the evening of September 7.


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