This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.
- Arab League monitor mission to Syria said to be failing
- Arab League monitor team to Syria headed by general in Sudan’s genocide
- Syria accused of hiding hundreds of prisoners from monitors
- Egypt’s police conduct raids on foreign rights groups in Cairo
- Turkey’s warplanes kill 36 Kurdish civilians in Iraq by mistake
- Turkey’s Kurds riot in Istanbul following airstrikes
- Deeply divided, Greece’s new government has ground to a halt
Arab League monitor mission to Syria said to be failing
Residents of Duma, Syria, cheered the arrival of several white buses on Thursday morning, and they ran to meet the Arab League monitors who had been scheduled to arrive. But when the doors swung open, out came troops carrying guns. At least seven people were killed when the troops opened fire on the crowd. In fact, violence appears to be continuing as usual, three days after the Arab League monitor team arrived in Syria with the job to monitor compliance with a regional peace initiative calling for the withdrawal of security forces from urban areas, the release of political prisoners, and dialogue with the opposition. Their numbers are expected to grow to about 150. However, they’re already being called a failure. LATimes
Arab League monitor team to Syria headed by general in Sudan’s genocide
The credibility of the Arab League monitor team was brought into question from the start by the appointment of General Mohammed Ahmed al-Dabi, a former head of military intelligence in Sudan, as its leader. Al-Dabi worked for Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, who is now a fugitive from the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity for the Darfur genocide. According to Amnesty International,
During the early 1990s, the military intelligence in Sudan was responsible for the arbitrary arrest and detention, enforced disappearance, and torture or other ill-treatment of numerous people in Sudan.
The Arab League’s decision to appoint as the head of the observer mission a Sudanese general on whose watch severe human rights violations were committed in Sudan risks undermining the League’s efforts so far and seriously calls into question the mission’s credibility.
Al-Dabi became Sudan’s ambassador to Qatar in 2003, and it’s probably that post that earned him the leadership of the Arab League monitor team. However, the suspicion is that he’ll be sympathetic to the Syrian regime’s violence, since he participated in the violence of Sudan’s regime. Telegraph
Syria accused of hiding hundreds of prisoners from monitors
Syria’s opposition figures, led by Human Rights Watch, have accused the regime of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad of moving hundreds of prisoners to military sites to hide them from Arab League monitors. Syria is not permitting the Arab League monitors to visit military sites. CNN
Egypt’s police conduct raids on foreign rights groups in Cairo
The Egyptian police raided more than a dozen offices of local and foreign rights groups as part of a probe into alleged illicit foreign funding of political groups. At least two US rights groups – the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) – were targeted in the operation. The U.S. State Department said it was “deeply concerned” about the raids. AFP
Turkey’s warplanes kill 36 Kurdish civilians in Iraq by mistake
Turkey has been pursuing Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists in Iraq and bombing their camps. Airstrikes by Turkey’s warplanes in northern Iraq on Thursday killed 36 people who turned out to be civilians. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) initially said that, based on information from the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), there were no civilians in the region targeted by the airstrikes. Later in the day, the said the incident was the result of an “operational accident” that was caused by a mistake or intelligence failure. The victims were apparently civilian smugglers moving gas, cigarettes and sugar from Iraq into Turkey and had no connection to the PKK. This incident will sharpen the political debate in Turkey over what some see as an internal contradiction in the views of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who views Hamas in Gaza as victims but views the PKK as terrorists. Zaman (Istanbul)
Turkey’s Kurds riot in Istanbul following airstrikes
More than 2,000 Kurds demonstrated in Istanbul against the Turkish authorities following the fatal airstrikes that killed 36 civilian Kurds. Some chanted pro-PKK slogans. The protest degenerated into clashes with riot police, who had been deployed in large numbers and used water cannon and tear gas. EuroNews
Deeply divided, Greece’s new government has ground to a halt
The government of interim Prime Minister Lucas Papademos has completely ground to a halt and is unable to proceed with even the most urgent measures. Reform measures that were promised as a condition of further international bailout money are not being implemented. The privatization program has stopped, as the government is not selling government-owned assets. Labor markets have not been deregulated. The program of public sector layoffs is a fiasco, with ony 1,000 of 30,000 planned layoffs completed. The modernization of the civil service has been delayed. The planned third round of pension cuts has halted. Corruption is widespread, as politicians have unexplained fortunes in their bank accounts. According to Papademos:
Now the issue is simply whether we remain in Europe or not. The governing parties have an obligation to work together honestly to finally banish the nightmare of a return to the drachma. If this government doesn’t get it right, Greece will go hungry.
His dramatic appeal has been ignored. Greece will have a €14.5 billion bond payment due in March. Spiegel