Second Arab monitor may quit Syria over violence
Cairo, January 12, 2012
An Arab observer delegation in Syria is running into further difficulties, with two members either quitting or threatening to do so within 24 hours because their mission is proving ineffectual.
An observer who declined to give his name said on Wednesday he was ready to walk out, exposing rifts in an Arab peace effort a day after Anwar Malek, an Algerian observer, told Al Jazeera TV he had quit Syria because the peace mission was a 'farce'.
Both men, clearly appalled by what they had seen, spoke of continued violence, killings and torture, saying the bloodshed had not abated as a result of the presence of the Arab League mission. Both described Syrians' suffering as 'unimaginable'.
Malek's departure was a blow to the mission, already criticised by Syria's opposition as a toothless body that only served to buy President Bashar al-Assad time.
Its work has already been hampered by an attack on monitors in the western port of Latakia this week that lightly wounded 11 and prompted the League to delay sending new observers to Syria to join about 165 already there.
Another resignation would further undermine its credibility. Asked if he agreed with Malek's characterisation of the mission as a failure, the monitor said: 'It is true, it is true.
Even I am trying to leave on Friday. I'm going to Cairo or elsewhere... because the mission is unclear.... It does not serve the citizens. It does not serve anything.'
'The Syrian authorities have exploited the weakness in the performance of the delegation to not respond. There is no real response on the ground.'
The monitor, speaking by telephone from Syria, asked not to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media. - Reuters