UN Draft Rules out Force Against Syria
21:03 03/02/2012 WASHINGTON, February 3 (RIA Novosti) - The draft resolution on Syria now being considered in the UN Security Council rules out the use of force.
The resolution calls for an end to the violence in Syria, where clashes between police and opposition have continued since March 2011, killing 5,400 people by the time the UN stopped keeping count last week.
The removal of all Article 42 references from the draft is clearly aimed at preventing a veto by Russia, which has held firm on its insistence there be no Libyan-style military intervention in Syria.
The current draft demands that "the Syrian government immediately puts an end to all human rights violations and attacks against those exercising their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association."
President Bashar al-Assad should delegate his "full authority to his deputy" and then form a national unity government leading to "transparent and free elections under Arab and international supervision," it says.
The resolution insists it does not compel states "to resort to the use of force, or the threat of the use of force."
In October 2011, Russia and China vetoed a European-backed resolution that threatened sanctions against the Syrian regime if it did not immediately halt its military crackdown against civilians.
The European sponsors of the resolution had watered down the language on sanctions three times, to the point where the word "sanctions" was taken out. The eventual vote was 9-2 with India, South Africa, Brazil and Lebanon abstaining.
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