Kofi Annan quits as envoy to Syria

UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Kofi Annan in Damascus on March 11, 2012.


Louai Beshara

Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan is leaving his post as UN-Arab League joint special envoy to Syria, the United Nations announced Thursday.

Annan submitted his resignation, which will take effect on Aug. 31, to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Ban told a news conference in Geneva Thursday that he accepted the resignation with "deep regret" and that Annan deserved "our profound admiration for the selfless way in which he has put his formidable skills and prestige to this most difficult and potentially thankless of assignments," BBC reported.

Annan attempted to resolve the crisis in Syria with a six-point peace plan, but the plan was never fully implemented by the Syrian government or rebels.

Violence has since intensified in Syria and most recently spread to the nation's commercial center, Aleppo.

Arab countries pushed Wednesday for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign and for the Syrian army to end its assault on rebels, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Meanwhile, GlobalPost's James Foley has reported from the single street in Aleppo that separates the rebels from the regime.

Armed groups from the Aleppo countryside slept in Saladin's mosques, supported by hundreds of men thirsting to take up guns against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Two weeks later the main road of Saladin, called 10th Street, is the frontline of what is being billed as the key battle for Syria's future.

“This street is between the Syrian Army and the Free Army,” said Maj. Wasil Auub, a defected pilot and member of the Aleppo military council. “We have to fight them on this street. We can’t say we will be here for two or three days. It may be weeks or months, we don’t know.”

Continue reading Foley's report.

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