World Bulletin / News Desk
Veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi is expected to replace Kofi Annan as the U.N.-Arab League joint special envoy for Syria barring a last-minute change, diplomats said on Thursday.
The former Algerian foreign minister, who has a long history as a diplomatic troubleshooter, will have his work cut out for him in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad is using his security forces to try to crush a 17-month-old pro-democracy rebellion.
Annan, a former U.N. secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said last week he would step down as the special envoy because he was unable to do his job with the U.N. Security Council hopelessly deadlocked over Syria.
Brahimi's appointment could be announced as early as next week but the diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there are sometimes last-minute changes if a key government has concerns about the choice or the candidate has misgivings.
Brahimi, 78, has served as a U.N. special envoy in a series of challenging circumstances, including in Iraq after the U.S. invasion, in Afghanistan both before and after the end of Taliban rule and in South Africa as it emerged from the apartheid era.
Syria, however, may present an unusually vexing assignment, in part because international action to try to end the violence has been stymied by the disagreements between the five veto-holding permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
While the council united in April to approve the deployment of 300 monitors to Syria to observe a failed ceasefire as part of Annan's peace plan, Russia and China vetoed three other resolutions that criticized Syria and threatened sanctions against Damascus.
In announcing his resignation, Annan explicitly blamed "finger-pointing and name-calling" at the Security Council for his decision to quit, but suggested his successor may have better luck.
Assad's forces have killed more than 15,000 people since March of 2011 in a sustained effort to end the anti-government rebellion, some Western leaders say. Damascus says the rebels have killed several thousand members of its security forces.
Assad has suffered a series of blows in recent weeks, including the defection of his prime minister, Riyad Hijab, on Monday and the assassination of four of his top security officials last month.
He named a new prime minister, Wael al-Halki, on Thursday as government forces pushed rebels back from a strategic district in Aleppo, Syria's commercial hub and largest city.
In accepting Annan's resignation, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon thanked him for having taken on "this most difficult and potentially thankless of assignments."
A spokesman for Ban, who is expected to formally name Annan's successor, was not immediately available for comment.
“Our air defense unit managed at 19:40 local time [16:40 GMT] to target and hit an [Israeli] F-16 with a surface-to-air missile over Deir al-Balah city in central Gaza, as the plane was preparing to strike a target,” the brigades said in a brief statement.
Mahmoud Hamamrah, 32, was shot in the heart by Israeli gunfire during clashes in Husan town, nine kilometers west of Bethlehem.
A statement renewed calls for President Uhuru Kenyatta's ruling Jubilee Coalition to pull Kenyan troops out of Somalia.
The delegates headed for Kampala along with mediators from the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an east Africa trade bloc, which has been active in the South Sudan peace talks for months.
Tuesday's attack followed two days of deadly fighting between army troops and members of the Ansar al-Sharia militia which left at least 30 people dead.
"The English in particular were very pleasant so to speak saying we would never do that, but I told my dear British friends let's talk about the financial sector," Laurent Fabius said
The coalition statement said Tumeh and other ministers would continue as caretakers until the new government was formed
Moving into the area could represent Boko Haram's biggest strategic success since a military offensive dislodged it from several cities and towns in Borno state last year.
Tibetan spiritual leader called on monks in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to end violence towards Muslims in their countries.
Seleka's head of delegation, General Mohamed Moussa Dhaffane, told a session it was time to formalise the split after tens of thousands of Muslims had fled the south.
A centre-right alliance would be likely to focus on cutting income tax and boosting the country's competitiveness.
Kudrin said Moscow should not intervene militarily in the rebellion in eastern Ukraine and expressed dismay that Russians were as once again becoming adversaries of the West.
The draft resolution is to be debated by the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva at an emergency session also requested by Egypt and Pakistan.
A White House statement said the meetings were prompted by a recent telephone conversation about intelligence matters between Obama and Merkel
The meeting is the first of the two absolute monarchs since a major rift between Qatar and Saudi Arabia earlier this year and follows attempts by Doha to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
To keep the migrants below the deck, the five men indiscriminately stabbed and assaulted an estimated 60 of their fellow migrants before throwing them overboard, according to police