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.
Uganda has elections in 2016 and there is currently 10 members representing the Ugandan defence force in parliament.
Today marks 150 years since the Circassian genocide, of one of the worst massacres in modern history, where nearly 2 million people were driven to exile from their homeland of Circassia.
Canada has increased their police force spending to $150 million after 10 people were arrested at Montreal airport on suspicion of trying to join armed groups in Syria from Turkey.
A senior US official is in Israel discussing a compromise on a nuclear arms ban
Columbia negotiators have condemned the widespread use of landmines when 7-year-old girl killed after stepping on landmine.
New Snowden leaked documents show the NSA, global allies attempted to hack mobile devices
In a pre-election press conference, the AU observation mission lauded the fact that 48 per cent of registered Ethiopian voters were women.
Merkel, Hollande and Tsipras to meet on the sidelines of a summit in Riga this week between leaders of the European Union and its eastern European partners
Former European Commissioner for Energy claims Russia and partners use gas prices as tool against Ukraine
In a statement, the ministry urged Tunisian nationals in Libya to avoid tense areas and return to Tunisia "if necessary".
Russia offered visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi military and other aid on Thursday to help push back ISIL
The opposition's no-confidence motion is likely to fail, since the government controls 111 seats in the 200-seat lower house of parliament.
The army says 95% of Machar's Unity State under its control
Fed warns of delays for rate rise; danger of Greek default hits euro
There were no signs of the crowds that have gathered early each morning for the last three weeks in the capital Bujumbura to demonstrate.