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Has the U.N. Reached a Dead End in Syrian Crisis? - IPS ipsnews.net
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 17, 2012 (IPS) - When the 193-member General Assembly adopted a resolution against Syria by an overwhelming majority Thursday, the U.N.'s highest policy making body was conscious of the fact that its rulings - unlike the dictates of the 15-member Security Council - are politically impotent because they have no enforcement power.

The vote was 137 in favour to 12 against (including China and Russia, the two big powers who are allies of Syrian President Basher al- Assad), with 17 abstentions.

With Russia and China using their vetoes to block punitive action against Syria in the Security Council last week, the United Nations may have hit a virtual dead end in trying to help resolve the 11- month-old crisis.

The uprising has claimed the lives of more than 5,400 people, mostly civilians and members of the security forces.

But Jose Luis Diaz, head of the Amnesty International office at the United Nations, does not think the United Nations is in a no-win situation.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:10:32 PM EST
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Syrian troops 'open fire' on Damascus funeral - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Syrian security forces have fired live ammunition and tear gas to break up a protest against President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, injuring several people, activists have said.

The shooting in the Mazzeh neighbourhood on Saturday broke out at the funerals of three youths killed in a protest a day earlier.

Saturday's demonstration, which activists said had thousands of participants as snow fell, was one of the biggest seen in and around the capital in months.

The Local Co-ordination Committees (LCC) said two people had been killed, but the report could not be verified. The activist network said 12 others were killed elsewhere in the country.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:11:51 PM EST
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