Conflict & Justice

Lakdhar Brahimi announced as Annan's successor in Syria


Diplomat and former foreign minister of Algeria Lakhdar Brahimi speaks during a joint press conference with former US president Jimmy Carter following a meeting with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum on May 27, 2012.



Lakdhar Brahimi has officially been appointed as Kofi Annan's successor in Syria, as the last UN observers trickle out of the country by Sunday. 

Brahimi, a former Algerian diplomat and UN envoy to Iraq, has the support of Syrian Vice President Farouk Al-Sharaa.

Al-Sharaa was rumored to have defected to the opposition, claims he and his family have denied.

The Vice President's office said that he "supports Brahimi's demand to get united support from the Security Council to carry out his mission without obstacles," the Associated Press reported

The United Nation's six point peace plan has been unsuccessful in Syria, and Brahimi will face the same challenges as Annan in terms of reconciling the Security Council to take productive action to stop the region's violence. 

“The UN succeeds at managing crises the strongest powers don’t care much about; it fails at managing crises when the major powers have interests,” Kori Schake, a research fellow at Stanford University and a professor of international security studies at West Point Military Academy, told Bloomberg Businessweek. “Cooperation on international crises is the exception, not the rule.”

More from GlobalPost: UN cuts Syria observer mission but will set up Damascus office

The Security Council agreed earlier this week to end the failed UN mission and instead set up a small office in Damascus to support any future peace process and transition the country into stability, Bloomberg reported. 

The handing over of the Syria mission to Brahimi comes as the last of the United Nations' observers prepare to leave by Sunday. 

Juliette Touma, the UN's Public Information Officer, told reporters on Saturday that the observers' departure was expected to be completed within hours.

There are about 100 observers left in Syria, which is only a third of the team that was on the ground at the mission's peak, according to the AP

The deployment of the UN observers was one of the only successes of Kofi Annan's peace plan; while they were intended to monitor a cease fire, they ended up instead tracking instances of extreme bloodshed, the AP reported.  

More from GlobalPost: Lakhdar Brahimi, potential Syria envoy, wants UN Security Council support before taking post