A recent report warned that fear of rape is the main reason Syrians are fleeing their homes to join 1.5 million other refugees struggling to survive in bordering countries. Inside Syria, the conflict has become a war for territory where civilians always lose: one side loses a town only to take it back later in an endless cycle of violence. Women and children are literally pawns of war, and suffer brutal sexual attacks — as long as the conflict continues, so will the brutality.
There is no military solution to Syria’s conflict. The only way to stop the violence is if the international community plays tough anddemands that all sides come to the table for peace talks and start to negotiate. The US and Russia are reportedly trying to organize peace talks in Geneva, just too slowly. Moments like this don’t come very often, and experts predict that failure to seize it now could result in a 10-year conflict that pulls in other countries in the region. The unfathomable costs of this outcome are too terrible an alternative — peace talks in Geneva are the only hope on the horizon.
Neither successful peace talks nor a ceasefire will happen overnight, but we urgently need to get started. The weeks leading up to peace talks will require sustained engagement from the Arab League, Russia, the EU and the US to get all relevant parties to the table — and even more effort to make the talks the first step towards a long-term solution. And our leaders can only deploy the massive political will this will require with a massive push from the public — from us.
Over 100,000 people have died while policymakers shoot down any path that isn’t perfect. The situation is complex, with multiple conflicts and tensions intertwined. But we can’t let this complexity provide an excuse for inaction. Peace won’t be easy, but it’s Syria’s only hope. Let’s come together once again for the Syrians desperately pleading for our help. For the women of Syria that do not have a voice click to send an urgent message — let’s demand a ceasefire now!
To send a message to Secretary Kerry and Minister Lavrov: http://www.avaaz.org/en/syria_ceasefire_now_sam1/?bSjcBbb&v=27805