Conflict & Justice

Syria: SNC opposition chief Burhan Ghalioun offers to resign


Syrian National Council leader Burhan Ghalioun attends a press conference after Syrian opposition groups meeting in Istanbul on March 27, 2012.


Bulent Kilic

The head of the Syrian National Council (SNC), Burhan Ghalioun, has offered to resign to avoid divisions within the main opposition bloc, Agence France Presse reported.

The Paris-based academic made the announcement on Thursday after activists accused him of monopolizing power.

Ghalioun said:

“I will not allow myself to be the candidate of division, I am not attached to a position, so I announce that I will step down after a new candidate has been chosen, either by consensus or through new elections."

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The move comes just two days after Ghalioun himself was re-elected by consensus in Rome for a three-month term as SNC chief.

After 15 months of violence, the Syria's opposition is still struggling to overcome infighting, The Guardian reported, despite repeated calls for unity by international backers.

The Local Coordination Committees (LCC), a key activist group, threatened to suspend its membership of the SNC, warning that the opposition bloc was drifting away from the spirit of the country's revolution, the Associated Press reported.

The LCC said in a statement Thursday:

"We have seen nothing except political incompetence in the SNC and a total lack of consensus between its vision and that of the revolutionaries.”

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Meanwhile, according to AFP, more deaths were reported in Syria on Thursday.

British-based monitors said security forces launched another assault on the rebel stronghold of Rastan, in the central Homs province.

A family, including two children, were reportedly killed when a mortar shell hit their home in Douma, near the capital Damascus.

In northern Syria, thousands of students from Aleppo University reportedly staged an on-campus protest.