Syria: National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces – Assad Regime is Burning Syria & Rendering it Uninhabitable (13.04.2021)

Opinion: Farmaajo wants to go from delaying into a “transition”

The first term of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo ended on the 8th February 2021. Now we are already in the end of March 2021 or on the 28th March 2021 to be precise. He is keeping himself in power by being “interim” President as the negotiations and the agreements are stalled.

Farmaajo and allies are hoping to stall this even further. As himself and his opponents cannot agree on the way ahead. Farmaajo is hoping his “Gorgor” and Somali National Army (SNA) can keep him in office. Farmaajo is not willing to risk his huge influence and power at Villa Somalia. That is how everything seems.

The out-of-date President is willing to fix the Lower House of Parliament. Where he wanted to get a two-year extension for no apparent reason. He wants the Members of Parliament to just accept. There is reporting that speaker of Lower House Mursal believes this is the right thing to do. That after the Lower House have expelled 15 MPs who opposed the Farmaajo line and the further expansion.

Farmaajo is set to have a closed doors meeting with all the MPs, leaders of Security Agencies and Media Aides. All done today before tomorrows Parliamentary Session in the Lower House. Which is supposed to give him a “legitimate” vote to stay in power without an election. Mursal would clearly do his to deliver this for the President.

By all means… it seems by now that Farmaajo never had the pure interest to resolve the election stand-off. If he did… he wouldn’t have held such conferences that close to the deadline. Neither shown intent or tried to figure out ways forward. Instead, he has ordered the Gorgor on protestors. Have had heavy armed presence on the airport of Mogadishu and even ordered soldiers to Gedo Region in Jubbaland. That is what he does to stay ahead.

Farmaajo must take people for fools. His game is for a long-con. He will blame the International Community. He will blame Kenyan interference. Farmaajo will blame anyone else. Even as he knows perfectly well that he needs international support and without military support from foreigners he wouldn’t even be in office at this current moment.

The interim president seemingly wants to create a huge crisis and other problems as excuses to stay in power. There is not end to this. No matter what the opponents or the Somali National Salvation Forum does. The Council of Presidential Candidates (CPC) haven’t come with any significant solutions either. Maybe they have in closed doors meetings, but none of that has leaked out. As Farmaajo seems to enjoy the “impasse” and the “transitional” period.

Farmaajo wants to be unelected and have all excuses. He wants to pull off what others has done in the region. The Somali President wants to await elections just like Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy did. That is his goal it seems.

So, even if the International Community would warn Mursal and the Lower House. Don’t expect much from there. When they could easily “ban” opposition MPs like they did. They will clearly not care, if they are all on borrowed time and without an official mandate. These folks are just there to be loyal subjects of Farmaajo and deliver his wishes. That is why the previous speaker was kicked out and the Prime Minister too. All of them, because Farmaajo needed with certainty to have loyal cadres in all the right places.

He ensured a delay, now he wants to be in transition from himself and hopefully in that time. Find a way to install himself again legitimately. That is the end-game here. Either by the hook or by crook. Peace.

Syria: Syrian Democratic Council – A statement for the public opinion (18.03.2021)

The tenth anniversary of the outbreak of the uprising and the popular movement in Syria this year is associated with the third anniversary of the Turkish occupation of the Syrian region of Afrin, in which the occupation was as basis to undermine the chances of achieving the goals and purposes for which the Syrian people uprised a decade ago.

Turkey through its army and mercenary factions, has been practicing aggressive policies and plans against the indigenous people of Afrin for three years, after the displacement of more than 80% of its population, the systematic Turkification of the region, the distortion of its identity, the disruption of its demographic composition and its isolation from its Syrian surroundings, in addition to the expansion of daily violations and illegal sabotaged activities in occupied lands of Afrin.

During three years ago, Turkey allowed to the mercenary factions to abuse and practice the most horrific violations against the original Kurdish population in Afrin, confiscate their properties and restrict them by placing extremist factions that obey their orders and implement Turkey’s expansion plans in the Syrian territories.

Despite the documented reports issued by UN agencies and human rights organizations that documented what was happening in the Afrin region in terms of ethnic cleansing and its transformation into an incubated environment for extremism and terrorism, the international community remained unable to make a decision that consistent with the United Nations charter and international resolutions calling for the preservation of human dignity and respect for state sovereignty.

We are as members of the Syrian Democratic Council, affirm in this regard that Turkey’s justifications in the excuse of preserving its national security in the region will not be achieved through its repeated flagrant violations of its obligations in international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, but rather by its full commitment as an occupying power, and its expression of its serious political will towards the real peace in the region.

We call on the United Nations and the International Security Council to adopt the position of the European Parliament and to acknowledge that the Turkish presence in northern Syria is an occupation that must be ended and restore the situation to before the occupation of Afrin in 2018 and to oblige the Turkish state to retreat from its hostile attitudes towards the Kurdish people and to be obligated to implement in accordance with Article 25 of the charter of the United Nations.

We also call on the Secretary-General of the United Nations to form an independent international investigation committee to investigate the crimes committed and still are committed by Turkey and its mercenary factions in the Afrin region, uncover the fate of more than seven thousand forcibly disappeared civilians, work on the safe return of its original inhabitants and compensate them, remove all aspects of occupation.
And based on our belief in the unity of the Syrian territories and our total commitment to preserve the country’s unity and liberate it from all forms of occupations, we call on all the Syrian parties to unite their forces to expel all occupiers, especially Turkey, which has undermined efforts to solve the Syrian crisis and exploited the plight of the Syrians to turn them into mercenaries and soldiers on demand in the service of its expansionist interests in the region.

We seek to be our call as a beginning for the best solution to settle the crisis and end the tragedy of the Syrian people, which is through the solidarity of all Syrians and the focus on the common factors and the unity of destiny without discrimination or alignment, and through the actual implementation of the comprehensive Security Council Resolution 2254 and saving the country from tyranny and divisions.

March 18, 2021
Syrian Democratic Council

Syria crisis: 10 years on, humanitarian situation is worse than ever (04.03.2021)

Aleppo, Syria

Geneva, 4 March 2021 –The daily suffering of Syrians is worse now than it has been at nearly any point throughout the decade-long conflict that has ravaged the country. This is the sobering message delivered today by three senior Red Cross and Red Crescent officials as Syria enters the second decade of a relentless crisis.

Khaled Hboubati, the President of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, said:

“Continuing hostilities, a downward economic spiral, a refugee crisis that has reverberated around the world and the COVID-19 pandemic have conspired to push Syrian people to unacceptable extremes. For a decade now, people in Syria have been living in agony. As we speak, more than 13 million people need at least one type of assistance and about 8 million people are unable to respond to their basic needs.”

With the price of basic commodities more than doubling in the last year alone, food insecurity has worsened for the Syrian people. Around 12.4 million people – 60 per cent of the Syrian population – do not have regular access to enough safe and nutritious food, and more than 90 per cent of the population is estimated to live under the poverty line.

Speaking ahead of his visit to Syria, Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said:

“The people of Syria cannot afford to endure another year like this, let alone another ten. We need a political solution to end the conflict, ongoing financial support for the recovery – and a future for those who have lost so much.”

The immense humanitarian needs across Syria have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, said Francesco Rocca, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC):

“For most Syrians, worrying about the virus is a luxury they cannot afford. They cannot afford to protect themselves. They cannot isolate themselves at home or else no food would be on the table. And even if they do get contaminated by the virus, the health system has been battered so severely that access to treatment and care is limited.”

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent have been responding to the needs of people in Syria since the first days of the conflict. With the support of the ICRC and the IFRC, backed by dozens of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world, Red Crescent volunteers are delivering more than 60 per cent of aid across Syria. Without them, this humanitarian catastrophe would have been much worse. Since the beginning of the conflict, 65 volunteers of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and eight volunteers of the Palestine Red Crescent branch in Syria have lost their lives in the line of duty.

“We ask that States and all parties to the conflict respect and ensure international humanitarian law is respected in their operations,” *added ICRC’s Maurer. “Humanitarian access, the protection of civilians, and humane treatment of detainees are not in the category of ‘nice to have’, they are both a moral and legal obligation.”*

In the neighbouring countries of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, where an estimated 5.3 million Syrians have found refuge, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement also plays an essential role in supporting vulnerable refugees and local communities.

IFRC’s Rocca said:

“Now, more than ever, Syrians need our solidarity and support. Over the past decade there has been tremendous generosity and solidarity. Unfortunately, today, we see that donations are declining despite the worsening humanitarian situation. We have a moral duty to support the sustainability of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, an organization that is so integral to the delivery of the international community’s support. Without the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, millions more would go hungry every month.”

Syria: United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria, Imran Riza and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Muhannad Hadi – Statement on Deaths in Fire Incident at Al Hol Camp (28.02.2021)

Opinion: Turkey ‘gave’ Farmaajo the Gorgor

The Gorgor forces are members of the Somali forces that have received high-level training at the Turkish base in Mogadishu (TURKSOM). Their number ranges between 4,500 and 5,000 supplied with weapons and ammunition from Turkey. They are stationed in Mogadishu, Tosmurib and Beled Hawo, with TURKSOM as their main base. In addition to receiving their orders directly from President Mohamed Abdullah Farmajo, these forces are under the command of Turkish officers at the base” (The Arab Weekly – ‘Turkish-trained special forces take Somalia back to days of civil war’ 20.02.2021).

I don’t know where President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is standing in regard to the military expansion in Somalia. Neither does I know his reason for arming the Gorgor Special Unit, which is following direct orders of the former President Farmaajo. This is vital as his term has ended and there is an election stalemate, which has turned bloody.

There is warnings of war, civil-war. A war that Farmaajo has created and State Presidents is calling him out. Not only the Council of Presidential Candidates’ Union (CPC), but the likes of Puntland President and others too. They are calling Farmaajo a dictator and someone who will force himself on the public. This he thinks he can do, because the Turkish armed him with ‘Gorgor’.

That is a monster and vicious beast the Turkish has offered to Farmaajo. Now, since his seen the usage of it in the past. He thinks he can control the conversation and silence his critics with this Unit. Gorgor is the unit that’s been in the streets and used bullets against the demonstrators. The Turkish trained troops was used against the opposition and that shows what Farmaajo does.

He has a unit of 5000 trained soldiers that he can order around. Farmaajo has a small army who he controls and intends to use. Just to prove to his enemies that he got power. That he will not back-down and will destroy the ones in his way.

That is why Turkey better take some responsibility here. The Turkish maybe trained these soldiers to beat Al-Shabaab, but at the same time. They are now useful to quell and silence opposition. Even kill them, if they have too.

Gorgor is their beast. It is now a tool that Farmaajo uses to get his way. As he hopes his forces can weaken and destroy the will of the other political actors. Since, he got the guns. He can brutally get rid of the ones opposing him. Gorgor will do it for him and threaten them, intimidate them and stop them from challenging him.

That is how it seems. The violence of Gorgor on the 18th and 19th February is a sign of what’s to come. Villa Somalia and Farmaajo is clearly aiming at the stars and hitting the moons. Because, they are clearly not in it to talk or negotiate at this given moment. The Turks and Erdoğan have to take their responsibility too. Not just write a vague Press Statement and think we forgets.

The incumbent President and now ‘caretaker’ or ‘interim’ Commander-in-Chief got to carry this too. His the reason for all of this and the one who ordered Gorgor on the streets of Mogadishu. Also the man who couldn’t resolve difference ahead or during the Dhusamareb Summit. Farmaajo has had his time, but now he uses soldiers to grip power. That is clearly his motivation.

Farmaajo should send tokens and gifts to Ankara. Since they are the ones who is shielding his throne. Without Gorgor, the caretaker would have no force to reckon with or even dare to order anyone to the streets. Peace.

Syria: Statement by Mark Cutts, Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis on the killing of a humanitarian worker in northwest Syria, 17 February 2021 (17.02.2021)

Syria: National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces – Syrian Opposition Coalition – Russia’s Blocking of UN Security Council’s Joint Declaration Must Represent Moment of Truth for International Community (11.02.2021)

Syria: National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces – Syrian Opposition Coalition – On UN Envoy’s Latest Briefing to UN Security Council (11.02.2021)

Syria: Joint Statement on International Day of Education – Ten years of war in Syria, more than half of children continue to be deprived of education (24.01.2021)

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