(Photo: Reuters/Umit Bektas)
Syria’s violent uprisings could soon end after the Arab League took action against the country.
Members of the United Nations and Arab League, concerned with the increasing violence in Syria, met to discuss the growing problem. Syrians upset with the rule of President Bashar Assad have faced grave threats from government loyalists.
It is estimated that over 4,000 people were killed and many more detained because of protests.
“In light of the manifest failure of the Syrian authorities to protect their citizens, the international community needs to take urgent and effective measures to protect the Syrian people,” said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to the UN.
The Arab League, formed in 1945 by Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Yemen, decided to take action against Syria. The League’s mission is to “strengthen ties among member states, coordinate policies, and promote common interests.”
At a meeting on Nov. 12, Syria was suspended due to violence. Economic sanctions were enforced on Nov. 27 and included the “freezing of Syrian government assets in Arab countries, stopping dealings with the Syrian central bank, suspension of commercial flights to and from Syria…and a travel ban on senior officials.”
The League proposed a peace treaty that would include allowing observers into Syria to assess the situation. New economic sanctions were threatened if Syria does not cooperate and sign the agreement.
“If Syrian government were to fully sign up to the peace plan, it would have to withdraw all its military forces from towns and villages around the country, release detainees, and allow observers in to ensure the violence really had ended,” said BBC’s Jim Muir.
The goal of the treaty is to end the violence. November was the most violent month, with over 900 people killed.
“The protocol is intended to be signed soon. The Syrian government has responded positively to the draft protocol,” said Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jihad al-Makdisi in a statement.