With this title someone may think that is not a moment for irony, however this is precisely a sad and ironic reality, full of atrocities that is becoming the “new normal” of doing war. With or without the direct intervention of U.S. this anti-terrorist battle has been transformed into a “blank check” against civilians, the complete destruction of cities and an IHL body complete useless and disempowered.
I cannot end the year without a message of total repudiation of what has happened in Aleppo and their civilians. Please note: civilians not activists, not military, just civilians, like you and me, citizens that from one day to another become refugees and without the right to live and stay in their own homes. If you are an activist, at least you have a reason for dying but if you want to live in peace you should have the right to remain safely in your home.
Aleppo´s exodus and destruction seems to be Assad´s victory… really? Under any angle the evacuation of thousands of people and a city completely destroyed could be considered a victory. Let´s for a moment forget about he moral aspect of killing civilians –including children- and focus in what are human rights guarantees and the implementation of IHL. Why there are not diplomatic/economic sanctions against this brutal dictatorship? Why the international community doesn´t react and only focus in humanitarian aspects? Is the anti-terrorist struggle the main argumentation for abandoning Aleppo´s people in the hands of a dictator? Also the media is contributing badly to the conflict by naming “rebels” to the people against this dictatorship. In addition, there are also considered “terrorists” not because of there war methods but because they go against the regime.
The pride of a dictator and the weakness of a international community that gives up in their attempt to protect Syrian people, results in millions of people out of their homes that in addition, are being rejecting in many parts of the world. There are civilians, just families in the wrong place at the wrong moment.
United Nations and particularly the Security Council are showing total ineffectiveness to implement their role as Mediator and controller of violent conflicts, prevention, protection of civilians and respect to IHL. By the contrary it seems to be in total complicity with both sides of the conflict.
Does UN need an excuse to work? Migration global crisis and violent attacks: this is the best excuse, as it seems there is not political will to interfere or impose sanctions to leaders. The Syrian conflict has a direct and devastating impact on the rest of the world as it increases dramatically the number of refugees. There are interests in both sides, at national and international level and UN need to play an active role in preventing this mass migration that is overflowing countries’ capacities.
Furthermore, recent attacks in Berlin, Nice or Brussels illustrates the need to take responsibility of the actions and gaps taken by political leaders without trying to avoid responsibility. “You go, they come” that is the message that needs to be taken seriously by political leaders and reshape foreign military presence in Middle East.
The role and presence of international humanitarian organizations needs also to be reshaped for building a fluid and effective action.
A close accountability over political leaders that violate IHL must be followed up by a strong diplomatic work in which all leaders and institutions (political and humanitarian) put pressure over them. In a global world economic, financial or diplomatic sanctions could really make a difference and UN is in a strong position to do it if it could get rid of a rusty structure with super powerful countries that dominates the stage in a position of observer -and sometimes- of complicity.
Remember Aleppo´s families and their right to live and be protected in their own country: “We will return to the city and feel its air”…..
*Graffiti in Aleppo: “We will return to the city and feel its air”