Syrians call for protests against any UN peacekeepers

AFP , Thursday 6 Dec 2012

Syrian activists reject calls for UN peacekeeping deployments in war-torn country, saying move would split country into pro-, anti-regime regions

Syrian activists called online for nationwide protests on Friday to reject any future UN deployment of blue helmets in the strife-torn country, as rebels inched closer to the capital amid raging violence.

"No to 'peacekeeping' forces in Syria," was the slogan announced for weekly Friday protests, according to the Syrian Revolution 2011 Facebook page.

Ever since the outbreak of a popular revolt against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011, thousands of protesters have taken to streets in towns and cities across Syria to call for the fall of the regime.

As Syria's conflict has evolved, weekly slogans agreed by activists have been designed to express the mood among dissidents.

Last week, international peace envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said the country "very, very urgently" needed a ceasefire and a large peacekeeping force.

Anti-regime activist Omar Shakir said "the notion of a peacekeeping force as a solution for Syria has been in the air for some time.

"We want to deliver a message not only to the international community but also to the Syrian political opposition that nobody on the ground would accept the deployment of blue helmets.

"Peacekeepers would mean Syria would be split in two, into pro and anti-regime areas. We are against the partition of Syria."

"The (rebel) Free Syrian Army is advancing at high speed towards the capital. If blue helmets are deployed, that would enable the regime to stay in power."

As violence has intensified, the number of protesters taking to the streets on Fridays has waned, but demonstrations have nevertheless continued to take place.

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