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Lillian Bogonko

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Why is the international community reluctant to declare the situation in Syria a civil war?

I read an article today on http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidesyria/2012/08/201282683723964944.html? which got me thinking about the situation in Syria. What are the consequences of it being called a civil war and why does it matter given that people are dying shouldn`t something be done all the same?

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  • Aug 27 2012: With international politics one has to be careful. There is an attempt to villify Assad and the Syrian government as if they are the evil ones; and the opposition? Oh, they have to be the saints who are fighting for human rights and yada yada yada....

    I'm not saying that President Assad is a saint, and I'm not saying that the opposition are rebels without a good cause. But what happens to world peace if leaders are removed anytime there is an opposition movement? In Nigeria now we have the Boko Haram sect fighting against the government. The government is corrupt and so on; but does that mean corrupt governments should be removed anytime there is enough people to form a rag-tag army and label them rebels?

    The real question we should be asking is: who are the people trying to get rid of the Assad government? In issues like this, things are not always what they seem. This seems to me like the Arab version of the 'Charles Taylor destabilizing Sierra Leone' experience.

    Just my opinion.
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      Aug 28 2012: I agree that no government should be forced out of office, but where do we draw the line? Until half the population is gone? Why are some situations ok to intervene or label civil wars and not others.

      From what i have read, labeling a situation a civil wars has implications. It means that the perpetrators can be charged for war crimes and crimes against humanity. That the combatants on both ends are recognizable. But this is not always the case.

      Yes interests and all come into play, but am more concerned about international law at this particular point. The laws are so grey that its tough to apply them uniformly. So who do we blame for the situation in Syria having understood all the dimensions?
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        Aug 30 2012: The Syrian people... and everyone who takes advantage of them.

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