Fernande is a freelance journalist based in Beirut, Lebanon. She iscurrently a correspondent for de Groene Amsterdammer (NL) and workedfor Baladna English in Syria in 2010. Fernande recently graduated withdistinction from King's College, London with an MA in War Studies. Shepreviously completed both a BA in Political Science and in Arabic atthe University of Amsterdam.
Syria and the world were shocked by news of a massacre in Houla, the largest scale violence since the UN deployed 300 monitors to the country. The monitors were sent to observe the implementation of UN-Arab League Joint Envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point plan, but so far their deployment has failed to stem the violence.
Over the weekend, the world welcomed a unanimous vote by the Security Council on resolution 2043, which authorizes the UN observer mission in Syria to expand its strength from 30 to 300. The UN-Arab League Special Envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan, called it a “pivotal moment for the stabilization of the country.”
"Iwant to return as soon as possible," Abu Hamzeh tells me from his hospital bedin Tripoli. The young man, just 25, fled Syria for Lebanon more than two months ago. He'srecovering from bullet wounds to his thigh and shoulder, inflicted by a sniper whofired on Hamzeh while he was leading demonstrations in his hometown, Homs, the epicenterof the Syrian uprising.
Since the outbreak of violence in Syria in March 2011, the UN Security Council has passed 60 resolutions. None of these have dealt with Syria, an issue about which the council is starkly divided. While western powers such as the United States and countries of the European Union emphasize the need for action and have themselves imposed harsh sanctions on the Syrian regime, China and Russia have resisted. In October, the latter two countries vetoed a watered-down Security Council resolution demanding UN action.