SJAC Update | March 6, 2018
UN Security Council Meeting | Credit: Wikipedia

Three Lessons for the UN Security Council on the Ghouta Ceasefire

It is now clear that the ceasefire passed by the UN Security Council (UNSC) on February 24th has failed to put an end to the fighting in Syria or address the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in Eastern Ghouta. An estimated 77 people were killed on Monday alone, and when an aid envoy finally entered Eastern Ghouta yesterday morning, it was first ransacked by government security forces, which removed 70 percent of the desperately needed medical aid.

The reality of the Syrian government’s current military position makes any ceasefire challenging, but even under ideal circumstances the flaws in Resolution 2401 would make it difficult to implement.

The text lacks key details and fails to place itself within the larger context of a political solution, reading as a reactive attempt at damage control rather than a thoughtful attempt at resolution. The following lessons from ceasefire agreements in previous conflicts provide useful comparisons:

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The Syria Justice and Accountability Centre (SJAC) is a Syrian-led and multilaterally supported nonprofit that envisions a Syria where people live in a state defined by justice, respect for human rights, and rule of law. SJAC collects, analyzes, and preserves human rights law violations by all parties in the conflict — creating a central repository to strengthen accountability and support transitional justice and peace-building efforts. SJAC also conducts research to better understand Syrian opinions and perspectives, provides expertise and resources, conducts awareness-raising activities, and contributes to the development of locally appropriate transitional justice and accountability mechanisms. Contact us at info@syriaaccountability.org.

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Author: Sarah Lafen