‘ Syrian President Bashar Assad Wins Third Term in Office With 88.7 Percent of Votes ‘

#AceWorldNewsSYRIA – July 16  – Syrian President Bashar Assad has won a third term in office, garnering 88.7 percent of votes in Tuesday’s presidential election.

Bashar Assad Wins Third Term in Office

The public took to the polls in government-controlled areas, but not in rebel-held parts of the north and east.

The Supreme Constitutional Court announced that some 11.63 million Syrians went to the polling stations out of a total of 15.85 million eligible voters.

Assad’s main challengers, Hassan al-Nouri and Maher Hajjar, received 4.3 percent and 3.2 percent of the vote.  

Assad was sworn in for a new seven-year term on state television on Wednesday following more than three years of civil war that has left tens of thousands of Syrians dead. 

#ANS2014 

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` President Bashar-Al-Assad Wins Third Term With Landslide Victory ‘

#AceWorldNews – SYRIA – DAMASCUS –  June 04 – Incumbent President Bashar Assad has overwhelmingly won Syria’s presidential election, the speaker of the Syrian parliament said Wednesday.

A total of 88.7% of voters (10.2 million people) voted for Assad, he said.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has won a third term in office after securing 88.7% of votes in Tuesday’s presidential election, the parliamentary speaker says.

Earlier, Syria’s constitutional court put the vote turnout at 73.47%.

Voting took place in government-controlled areas, but not in parts of the north and east held by rebels.

Tens of thousands of Syrians have died in three years of civil war in Syria, with millions more displaced.

President Assad’s key challengers, Hassan al-Nouri and Maher Hajjar, received 4.3% and 3.2% of the vote respectively.

It was the first time in decades that more than one name – outside of the Assad family – had been allowed to stand as presidential candidate.

But the Syrian opposition in rebel-held areas had dismissed the election as a farce, arguing that it has no credibility in the midst of a civil war.

The results of the election were announced by parliamentary speaker Jihad Laham on Wednesday.

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#Geneva2 :” Peace Talks End without Any Hope of Progress – Date of Next Round Undecided ”

The UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has apologised to the Syrian people after peace talks in Geneva ended without making progress.

He had held final discussions with both sides in Geneva in a last-ditch bid to break the stalemate between the Syrian government and opposition.

He said the main sticking point was the government, which refused again to talk about a transitional governing body.

The conflict in Syria has claimed more than 100,000 lives since March 2011.

The discussions on Saturday morning lasted just 27 minutes, after which Mr Brahimi emerged looking tired to address reporters, the BBC’s Imogen Foulkes reports from Geneva.

Mr Brahimi apologised to the Syrian people, admitting that the talks “had not come out with very much”.

Although the two sides had agreed on an agenda for the next round, Mr Brahimi said the government had rejected his suggestion to begin a third round by spending a day focusing on combating violence and terrorism, and a second day discussing a transitional government.

The opposition has long insisted on a transitional government that does not include President Bashar al-Assad or any of his loyalists.

The government has always rejected this and said there is no question of Mr Assad leaving power.

Mr Brahimi said both sides needed “to go back to their base” for consultations and to think about whether they wanted the process to continue or not.

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#AceWorldNews says two important events happen within 45…

#AceWorldNews says two important events happen within 45 minutes of each other in #Syria and #Homs and we hardly blink an eye!

10.56

Evacuation of civilians in Homs has begun – state TV

The evacuation of civilians from a besieged area of the city of Homs had begun under a humanitarian deal agreed this week, Syrian state television said on Friday.

The report could not immediately be confirmed independently, Reuters said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday that a three-day ceasefire has been agreed in negotiations between the local governor and a regional UN humanitarian coordinator in Syria to allow for the evacuation of civilians from Homs and supplies of humanitarian aid for those who choose to remain. The Russian embassy in Damascus “played an energetic role” in the talks, the ministry said.

10:11
200 civilians to leave besieged part of Syria’s Homs

About 200 people are expected to leave a besieged area of the Syrian city of Homs on Friday, governor Talal al-Barazi said. This would be the first stage of a humanitarian deal to evacuate civilians and allow aid to be delivered, Reuters reported.

Activists say 2,500 are trapped inside the area, struggling with hunger.

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League of Arab States Strong Endorsement of the Geneva Two Process

Arab League states and Israel map.

Arab League states and Israel map. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Responding to the League of Arab States’ statement on Syria, an FCO spokesperson said:

We welcome the League of Arab States’ strong endorsement of the Geneva II process and their support for the Syrian National Coalition, who we recognise as the sole legitimate representatives of the Syrian people.

We agree with the League that Geneva II is necessary to end to this bloody conflict and secure a transition to a sustainable political settlement in Syria, where there will be no place for Assad.

We share the League’s deep concern at the dire humanitarian situation and the need urgently to improve humanitarian access. We call on all parties to comply with the UN Security Council’s Presidential Statement on humanitarian access. The Assad regime continues to obstruct efforts by humanitarian actors to meet the needs of the millions of Syrians suffering displacement and deprivation. This is unacceptable. It must stop.

 

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SECURITY COUNCIL’S LEADERSHIP ROLE VITAL TO END ‘APPALLING SUFFERING’ IN #SYRIA

United Nations

UN OFFICIAL POST   
After its call on all parties in Syria for humanitarian access to relieve the plight of civilians trapped by heavy fighting, the Security Council must show leadership to ensure cooperation for delivery of food and medicines, and protection measures, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator urged today.

“I am extremely disappointed that we have not been able to make further progress on the ground,” said Valeria Amos as she briefed the Council this morning on the humanitarian situation in Syria.

“Three weeks have passed since the adoption of the Council’s Presidential Statement [on the issue]; with little change to report. Each day that passes without the parties upholding their most basic obligations results in more lost lives, more displaced people and more people denies access to the most basic services,” added Ms. Amos, who is also the Under-Secretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs.

On 2 October, the Council, in a Presidential Statement, urged the Syrian Government to immediately allow cross border aid deliveries, and also called on all parties to the conflict to agree on humanitarian pauses in the fighting, with special attention to key delivery routes.

The statement also deplored the escalating violence in a conflict that has already killed more than 100, 000 people and driven some 6.5 million other form their homes since opposition protesters first sought the ouster of the Government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.

“Words, despite their ability to shock, cannot really paint a picture of the grime and gruesome reality of Syria today,” Ms. Amos said in today’s briefing. “I call upon all members of the Council to exert influence and take necessary action to stop this brutality and violence. This Council’s leadership role is vital.”

She said humanitarian pauses are needed in all locations “where communities are being held hostage by one party of the other to the conflict” to deliver food, medicine and shelter. “We need those who control the check-points, on both sides of the conflict to ensure the safe and unhindered passage of humanitarian convoys,” she added.

English: Valerie Amos, Baroness Amos at the 20...

English: Valerie Amos, Baroness Amos at the 2007 World Economic Forum on Africa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ms. Amos also said that people must be allowed to move to safer areas without fear of attack and that he Syrian Government must immediately lift all bureaucratic impediments to humanitarian operation, including visa delays.

The suffering will only get worse as the fighting intensifies and winter sets in, she said, warning: “this is a race against time.”

Speaking to reporters after her briefing, Ms. Amos reiterated her disappointment at the lack of progress in efforts to alleviate the suffering in Syria and said: “What we are seeing is a deepening of the crisis, more and more people affected and in particular I expressed my concern about the extremely brutal and violent nature of this conflict.”

Ms. Amos said she asked the Council to consider a number of measures which would help implement the Presidential Statement and had expressed the desire to discuss the issues in further detail.

She said Council members had listened to her proposals “very carefully” and had asked questions of their own, including on the attitude of both the Government and the opposition to the aims of the Statement; on the security situation and what might be hampering aid delivery; and on specific issues such as the situations of women and children.

“The situation on the ground has not fundamentally changed [since the adoption of the Presidential Statement]. What I need is the political support of the Security Council members and other Members of the United Nations to really make a difference,” she said.

On the political front, UN Spokesperson Martin Nesirky said the Joint Special Representative for Syria of the UN and the League of Arab States, Lakhdar Brahimi, is in Qatar today, where he met the Emir to discuss the crisis and preparations for an international conference on Syria, to be held in Geneva.

He said that yesterday, Mr. Brahimi was in Turkey where he met with General Salim Idriss of the Free Syrian Army and 10 of his military commanders, and they also discussed the holding of a conference on Syria. “The Joint Special Representative reiterated his view that there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis and that all efforts should be exerted to stop the conflict and end the suffering of the Syrian people,” Mr. Nesirky said.

He said that before travelling to Doha, Mr. Brahimi met today in Ankara with Ahmet Davotuglu, Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, to discuss preparations for the Geneva conference. Mr. Brahimi heads to Tehran tomorrow.

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UN-Urges-Countries-to-Ensure-Safe-Passage-for-#Syrians-Fleeing-Conflict

Flag of United Nations Refugee Agency

Flag of United Nations Refugee Agency (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the numbers of Syrians seeking safety in Europe on the rise, the United Nations refugee agency <“http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/search?page=search&docid=526108d89&query=Italy“>said today it is concerned about difficulties displaced people face during their passage and at borders, including the risk of drowning at sea.

Melissa Fleming, chief spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), cited the case of a boat carrying between 400 and 500 Syrians and Palestinians that sank in the Mediterranean last Friday. Only 200 people have been rescued.

“We are disturbed that the cause of the tragedy could well be attributed to shots that were fired after the boat left Libya, injuring four passengers and damaging the hull,” Ms. Fleming told a news conference in Geneva.

The same day, she noted, a boat sank just off Alexandria in Egypt with an estimated 112 passengers on board, 40 of whom were Syrian. Twelve bodies were recovered, including five children. The survivors are being held in detention facilities in two police stations.

They were among a growing number of Syrians trying to cross the Mediterranean from Egypt to Italy because of anxiety about their security, according to UNHCR. Many mention physical assaults, verbal threats, detention and deportation.

The Egyptian Government estimates that some 250,000 to 300,000 Syrians currently reside in Egypt, of whom more than 122,000 are registered with UNHCR.

Between January and the end of September, at least 7,557 Syrians and Palestinians arrived on the coast of Italy, including 6,233 since August in 63 boats. This compares to about 350 Syrians in 2012. Most of the Syrian refugees that reach Italy continue on to other countries in Europe in search of asylum.

UNHCR was particularly concerned about the increasing number of unaccompanied children making the voyage. As the cost of travel can range from $2,000-$5,000 per person, some families opt to send their children alone or with relatives or friends.

“UNHCR notes with concern that over 800 Syrians have been arrested in Egypt since August for attempting to illegally depart and 144, including 44 children, have been deported to third countries,” said Ms. Fleming.

“Although charges have not been laid, approximately 589 Syrians remain in administrative detention, including women and 84 children. UNHCR is seeking access to the detained in order to properly verify numbers, conditions, and needs, or provide legal assistance,” she added.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ...

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UNHCR recognizes that a number of countries in North Africa are increasingly affected by the displacement caused by the Syria crisis, placing additional demands on their infrastructure and resources. Given the dramatic needs of Syrian refugees, which are likely to continue and grow in the immediate future, reinforcement of capacity to receive them in North African countries is increasingly urgent, the agency stressed.

UNHCR is working with Governments, the European Union and other partners to put in place a comprehensive response to saving lives of refugees and migrants at sea. It is calling for a number of measures to prevent further tragedies and increase responsibility sharing.

Generous approaches to protection are needed, Ms. Fleming noted, including non-penalization of those arriving without identity documents, offering flexibility in the application of family reunification criteria and procedures, dispensing with certain visa requirements, and facilitation of the entry of Syrians for work, study, family or humanitarian purposes under national programmes.

More than 100,000 people have been killed since opposition groups first sought the ouster of President Bashar Al-Assad in March 2011. The conflict has also sent 2 million people fleeing for safety to neighbouring countries and displaced some 4.5 million people internally.

 

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Press release – Human Rights and Democracy Report 2012 – 2013 – #Syria

Coat of arms of Syria -- the "Hawk of Qur...

Coat of arms of Syria — the “Hawk of Qureish” with shield of vertical tricolor of the national flag, holding a scroll with the words الجمهورية العربية السورية (Al-Jumhuriyah al-`Arabiyah as-Suriyah “The Syrian Arab Republic”). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Latest update: 30 September 2013

The human rights situation in Syria has continued to deteriorate in the period between July and September 2013. The conflict has reached devastating proportions: more than 100,000 Syrians have been killed, 6.8 million are in need inside Syria and over 5.8 million Syrians have been forced to flee their homes, with over 2 million people fleeing to neighbouring countries. Nearly a third of the Syrian population is in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

In light of the deteriorating humanitarian situation, the UK announced a further £100 million of humanitarian assistance on 25 September to help get essentials such as food, water and medicine to Syrian people in dire need. This brings the UK’s total to half a billion pounds, the UK’s largest response to a single humanitarian crisis. This reflects the scale, despair and brutality of the situation.

We remain in full support of the UN Commission of Inquiry, who continue to gather evidence of human rights violations and abuses with the aim of bringing those responsible to account. Their latest report, published on 11 September, highlighted how civilians are continuing to suffer from the ongoing fighting. The report described crimes against humanity and war crimes being committed by the regime and its forces, and serious violations committed by extremist anti-regime armed groups. The report concluded that there is no military solution to the conflict, and that a political solution founded upon the tenets of the Geneva communiqué is the only path to peace.

Against this background, the UK welcomed the adoption by the UN Human Rights Council of a new resolution on 27 September, which condemned the use of chemical weapons, called for the perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses to be held to account and demanded full access for the UN Commission of Inquiry and humanitarian workers. The resolution also condemned the use of chemical weapons and contained language on preventing sexual violence.

On the same day, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Syrian chemical weapons, ending a 17-month stalemate in the Security Council on Syria. The UK strongly supported this resolution, which is a welcome step towards our broad objective of achieving a political solution to end the crisis. We continue to work towards a second Geneva conference to bring all sides together. We are appalled by the chemical weapons attack in Damascus on 21 August, which led to the death of hundreds of civilians and wounded many more. All evidence points towards government responsibility for the attacks. The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have consistently made clear that those responsible for the most serious international crimes in Syria should be held to account, and we believe the situation in Syria should be referred to the International Criminal Court.

Since April 2012, we have committed over £40.5 million in non-humanitarian assistance to address the Syria crisis. This includes support to the moderate opposition, local councils, human rights defenders and civil society. We have provided equipment to help protect these groups and enable them to provide security and services to the Syrian people; this equipment includes armoured vehicles, body armour, generators, communications equipment and training for human rights activists.

Latest update: 30 June 2013

Syria

Syria (Photo credit: ewixx)

In the period between April and June 2013, the human rights situation in Syria continued to deteriorate. Over 93,000 Syrians have died, more than 1.6 million are refugees and 4.25 million have been displaced within Syria due to the conflict.

We remain in full support of the work of the UN Commission of Inquiry, who continue to gather evidence of human rights violations and abuses with the aim of bringing all those responsible to account. Their latest report, published on 4 June highlighted the new levels of brutality evident in the conflict; including documented cases of the use of chemical agents, the systematic imposition of sieges, forcible displacement and sexual and gender based violence and abuse. The report notes that whilst anti-government armed groups have also committed war crimes, their violations and abuses did not reach the intensity and scale of those committed by government forces and affiliated militia.

The UK welcomed the UN Human Rights Council’s adoption of a new resolution on 14 June, which strongly condemned the intervention of all foreign combatants, including those fighting on behalf of the Syrian regime. It urged all parties to refrain from any actions which may contribute to an increase in the number of violations of human rights and international law. The resolution stressed the need to follow-up on the Commission of Inquiry’s report and conduct a transparent and independent investigation into all violations of international law by all parties.

We also welcomed the UN Human Rights Council’s previous resolution adopted on 28 May, centred upon the Syrian government’s siege of Al-Qusayr. The resolution strongly condemned the violations of international law by Syrian authorities and government-affiliated militias, in particular the regime’s use of ballistic missiles and other heavy weapons against the people of Al-Qusayr. The resolution demanded that the Syrian authorities allow free and unimpeded access by the UN and humanitarian agencies, and requested that the Commission of Inquiry urgently conducts a comprehensive inquiry into the events in Al-Qusayr. In a statement on 4 June, the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, reiterated the request, calling on Assad’s forces to allow immediate humanitarian access to Al-Qusayr.

The UK remains committed to achieving a political solution to the crisis based on a vision for a united, inclusive and democratic Syria. As the Geneva Communiqué states, the public services must be preserved or restored. This includes the military forces and security services. However all governmental institutions and state offices must perform according to professional and human rights standards. We also condemn in the strongest possible terms all human rights violations and abuses in Syria, committed by anyone, including indiscriminate attacks on civilians. We call on all sides to respect international humanitarian and human rights laws, noting the particular responsibility of the Syrian authorities in this regard.

There are now 1.6 million refugees registered/in process in neighbouring countries, and nearly a third of the Syrian population is in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. The UK is doing all it can to help all those affected by the violence and is playing a leading role as a bilateral donor to the international humanitarian response. We have already contributed £173 million in humanitarian aid so far. This has provided food for over 132,000 people across Syria, clean drinking water for almost 1 million people and almost 300,000 medical consultations. As announced at the G8, the UK is now set to double its contribution, bringing our total support to £348 million, with over £100 million going to the UN appeals. The funding includes our ongoing humanitarian aid, as well as development assistance to Jordan and Lebanon, both of whom have seen a dramatic increase in the number of Syrian refugees in recent months.

The UK has also continued to provide support via non-lethal assistance, geared towards strengthening the moderate opposition, supporting civil society and helping to reduce the effects of regional spill over. This assistance includes training for human rights activists, communications equipment, body armour and water purification kits. This has brought the total of our non-lethal assistance to £30million.

Further Information

Read and comment on the country of concern – Syria

Read and comment on the Human Rights and Democracy Report 2012 in full

 

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#syria crisis latest update on aid #peace

How the UK is responding to the humanitarian crisis in Syria and neighbouring countries – and how you can help.

The crisis in Syria is gravely concerning. Hundreds of people are being killed or wounded every day and millions have been forced to flee.

Video: See how UK aid is helping Syrians who have fled the fighting

The timeline slider below uses WAI ARIA. Please use the documentation for your screen reader to find out more.

The UK has committed £500 million to help those affected by the conflict. This is the UK’s largest ever response to a humanitarian crisis. It will provide support including food, medical care and relief items for over a million people including those affected by the fighting in Syria and to refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.

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