Kofi Annan

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Kofi Annan Asks Iran for Help With Syria

UN envoy says he still thinks ceasefire will somehow work

(Newser) - Kofi Annan isn't panicking just because the Syrian regime blew off yesterday's ceasefire deadline . Annan says Bashar al-Assad's regime has assured him that it will respect the ceasefire plan and end hostilities tomorrow morning, the BBC reports. "If everyone respects it, I think by six in... More »

Syria Escalates Violence, Cease-Fire In Danger

Tanks roll into Damascus suburb in one of conflict's worst raids yet

(Newser) - Syria is just days away from its cease-fire deadline, but the regime sent tanks and troops into a Damascus suburb yesterday, escalating the conflict in defiance of the Kofi Annan-brokered peace plan. "Clearly the violence is still continuing at alarming levels," Annan told the UN General Assembly yesterday,... More »

UN: Syria Ceasefire in Place by April 12

Syrian troops have reportedly started withdrawing

(Newser) - Fierce clashes continue to erupt in Syria, even as the UN's deadline for a ceasefire looms a week from today. Kofi Annan's peace plan requires Syrian troops to withdraw from towns and cities by April 10 , and the UN expects both sides to stop fighting within two days... More »

Syria Agrees to Annan's Peace Plan

Plan to be implemented April 10, in theory

(Newser) - Bashar al-Assad's regime has agreed to begin implementing Kofi Annan's UN- and Arab League-backed peace plan by April 10, and to cease hostilities entirely 48 hours later, diplomats told reporters today. Syrian officials confirmed as much for al-Jazeera , but said the deal would fall through if Annan couldn'... More »

Syria: 'Battle to Bring Down the State' Is Over

Top official also balks at Kofi Annan request to pull back troops

(Newser) - The Syrian government will not pull troops from cities and towns engulfed by the country's unrest before life returns to normal in these areas, a top official said. The statement by Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdessi was the first response to an appeal by Kofi Annan to Syrian authorities... More »

Syria Sells Oil to China—Thanks to Iran

Meanwhile, Annan has message for Assad: Cease-fire, now

(Newser) - With the West united against the Syrian government and implementing a series of punishing sanctions, it's Iran and China to the rescue—as Chinese state-run firm Zhuhai Zhenrong bought an estimated $84 million in crude oil, and Iran supplied the boat to transport it, reports Reuters . The Malta-flagged vessel... More »

Arab League Hems, Haws on Whether Assad Must Go

At least 15 killed today as violence continues

(Newser) - Even as the Arab League met in Baghdad today to discuss implementation of a Syria peace deal, clashes between rebels and security forces continued, killing at least 15. With only 10 of 22 leaders in attendance, the League is apparently backing down from a call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad... More »

Kofi Annan: Syria OKs Peace Deal

Tells Chinese that Assad has agreed to 6-point UN plan

(Newser) - Syria has agreed to a six-point peace deal that will implement a cease-fire in the bloody conflict that has claimed an estimated 8,000 lives in the past year, UN envoy Kofi Annan said today. In Beijing today, Annan told reporters that "I had received a response from the... More »

Medvedev: Annan Syria's 'Last Chance'

Russia backs UN envoy as only way to avoid war

(Newser) - Russian President Dmitri Medvedev today got definitively behind Kofi Annan's mission to end the yearlong violence in Syria, reports Reuters , calling it the " last chance for Syria to avoid a long-lasting and bloody civil war." Medvedev met with Annan, the UN envoy to Syria today in Moscow,... More »

Syrian Rebels Accused of Kidnapping, Torture

Human rights group calls out freedom fighters for abuses

(Newser) - It's tempting to paint the conflict in Syria as a brutal regime fighting virtuous rebels, but Human Rights Watch today issued an open letter to the Free Syrian Army accusing insurgents of a variety of brutalities, including kidnapping and torturing security forces and government supporters. "The Syrian government'... More »

45 Women and Children Stabbed, Burned in Homs

Government killings also reported in Idlib, other locations

(Newser) - Just hours after Kofi Annan told the press yesterday that he was "optimistic" about the chances for peace in Syria , at least 45 women and children were massacred in Homs, reports CNN . Opposition activists said that government forces broke into people's homes, stabbing them and burning the bodies.... More »

Kofi Annan 'Optimistic' After Meeting Syria's Assad

But no peace deal yet

(Newser) - Kofi Annan left a second round of talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad today without a deal to stop the bloodshed, but "optimistic for several reasons," the UN-Arab League envoy tells al-Jazeera . "It's going to be tough. It's going to be difficult but we have... More »

Syria's Assad Rebuffs Peace Effort by Annan

Meanwhile, the army lays siege to city of Idlib

(Newser) - Hoping that Kofi Annan's meeting with Bashar al-Assad today might yield a diplomatic miracle and an end to violence in Syria? Not so much. Assad's regime released this statement afterward: "No political dialogue or political activity can succeed while there are armed terrorist groups operating and spreading... More »

More Syrian Generals Defect to Opposition

Rebels slam Kofi Annan's calls for dialogue: He's 'on Mars'

(Newser) - More military leaders are defecting in Syria: Reuters reports that four high-ranking officers jumped ship and reached a deserters' camp in Turkey. One rebel leader says a total of seven brigadier generals have now joined the opposition. The AP also notes four military defections, though the ranks are different. Regardless,... More »

Troops Rounding Up, Killing Civilians: Fleeing Syrians

UN leaders to visit country this week

(Newser) - Following the departure of rebel fighters from the Baba Amr neighborhood , Syrian troops and pro-government militias have taken to the streets, rampantly grabbing, torturing, and killing men and boys, fleeing people tell the BBC . One woman said 35 males had been rounded up near her home, and two soldiers slit... More »

War on Drugs a Bust: Global Panel

Former world leaders back marijuana legalization, addict aid

(Newser) - The American-led war on drugs is a failure and governments should move toward the legalization of some drugs, especially marijuana, concludes a report from a panel of politicians and former world leaders. The Global Commission on Drug Policy panel—which includes former UN chief Kofi Annan, the former presidents of... More »

Climate Change 'Affects 300M': Think Tank

(Newser) - Global warming is affecting 300 million people and taking 300,000 lives per year, according to the first wide-ranging research on the impact of climate change. Released by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan's think tank, the study says floods, fires, storms, and heatwaves are costing the world more than... More »

Fierce Rivalries Shape, Threaten Kenyan Politics

Power sharing compromise has resulted in a rancorous impasse

(Newser) - Election violence in 2007 gave way to an uneasy coalition between Kenyan PM Raila Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki, but that move seems only to have transformed the fighting on the streets into squabbling in the capital. Now, "Kenya does not have a functioning executive at all, just an... More »

Astor Witness List Is Star-Studded

Kissinger, Walters, Annan could testify

(Newser) - The Brooke Astor trial could be a who’s-who of New York hotshots: The list of possible witnesses includes Henry Kissinger, Kofi Annan, David Rockefeller, and Barbara Walters, the Times reports. Vanity Fair boss Graydon Carter said he felt “very privileged” to be on the list, provided by the... More »

Zimbabwe Bars Carter, Annan, Mandela's Wife

Ex-prez, Annan aimed to work on humanitarian crisis

(Newser) - Zimbabwe has denied Jimmy Carter, former UN chief Kofi Annan, and the wife of Nelson Mandela entry to the country to review its humanitarian crisis, Reuters reports. Even the support of former South African president Thabo Mbeki, who's been trying to mediate an end to the ongoing political stalemate, wasn’... More »

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