Despite security crackdowns, thousands continued to protest throughout Syria, seeking to unify themselves against the Assad regime. Retuers reports that 11 protestors haven been killed by Syrian security forces.
Today, UN Special Advisers Francis Deng (Genocide Prevention) and Edward Luck (RtoP) issued a press release on the situation in Syria. The release stated that the scale and gravity of the crimes “indicate a serious possibility that crimes against humanity may have been committed and continue to be committed”. The Special Advisors stressed the need for an “independent, thorough, and objective investigation”, and called on the government to allow unhindered humanitarian access, to cooperate with the HRC fact-finding mission, and to ensure that “security forces and civilian personnel under their command comply fully and consistently with international human rights obligations.”
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A forthcoming report from UNMIS detailing atrocities in Southern Kordofan has caused a stir at the organization over the course of the week, particularly given chilling paragraphs detailing inaction by UN peacekeepers.
Amid reports of a campaign of aerial bombardment targeting civilians and the discovery of mass graves, the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P) issued an open statement to the Security Council on the situation in Southern Kordofan, urging member states to uphold their RtoP and take decisive action to prevent further atrocity.
Khartoum has denied the validity of the leaked contents of the UNMIS report. Sudan also denied the announcement made by Darfur rebel groups that they had launched a successful attack against the SAF in the western Sudanese province.
US officials held face-to-face talks with the Gaddafi regime in Tunisia, insisting that the leader relinquish power. Amidst continuing talks with the regime, French foreign minister Alain Juppe stated that Gaddafi could remain in Libya if he were to step down from power and remove himself from the political process. Meanwhile, Muammar Gaddafi declared today that he refuses to hold discussions with the rebel TNC.
On Wednesday, Serbian forces arrested Goran Hadzic, the last major war crimes suspect from the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.