Ex-UN envoy warns Syria becoming 'another Somalia'

Ex-UN envoy warns Syria becoming 'another Somalia'
Mon Jun 9, 2014 17:51:22

Former UN envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has warned that the war-torn country was heading toward becoming "another Somalia" ruled by (foreign backed) warlords, in an interview published in a German weekly this weekend.

He also said that the entire region may "blow up" if a political solution is not found.

When asked what he predicted would ultimately become of Syria, the Algerian diplomat told der Spiegel: "It will become another Somalia. It will not be divided, as many have predicted. It's going to be a failed state, with warlords all over the place."

Brahimi also painted a grim picture for the countries neighboring Syria.

"Unless there is a real, sustained effort to work out a political solution, there is a serious risk that the entire region will blow up. The conflict is not going to stay inside Syria," he said.

Brahimi, who previously served as a UN special representative for Iraq, Afghanistan and South Africa, oversaw two rounds of peace talks between President Bashar al-Assad's government and the opposition-in-exile.

He also warned of the danger posed by the rise of extremist groups in Syria, and the threat they posed to the West.

He said the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) -- a terrorist group known for its ruthless tactics and suicide bombers -- "is active in both Syria and Iraq already, and Jordan is really struggling to continue resisting. Even Turkey. According to a senior Iraqi official, ISIS has carried out 100 operations in Syria and 1,000 operations in Iraq in just three months."

He added that there were 500 or 600 French militants, and roughly the same number of Britons, fighting in Syria, together with several thousand non-Syrians terrorists.

"These are your nationals that are training in Syria and that are part of [ISIL], which believes that you have got to build a (self-ruled) Islamic state all over the world. That's a threat to you, isn't it?"

Brahimi, the former special representative on Syria for the United Nations and the Arab League, resigned in frustration last month after making little progress towards ending the foreign caused civil war, now in its fourth year.


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