With humanitarian conditions dire in Syria, the Geneva II peace talks between the National Coalition and the opposing Syrian government largely lack progress.
Led by Bashar Al-Assad, the Syrian regime has been in violent conflict with the National Coalition since 2011. Claiming over 130,000 lives with nine million more displaced, the peace talks nestled in Switzerland’s town of Montreux are far from arriving at a solution.
The situation on the ground in Syria is sorely lacking in electricity, heat and most importantly of all, food and water.
A recent shipment of food relief arrived in the Yarmuk camp of Palestine, independent of the on going peace talks in Switzerland, yet blockades and the fear of “terrorists” in certain areas leave the greater population of Hom without the relief packages.
In fact, the continued presence of violence and the inadmissibility of evacuation resulted in over 1,870 people killed since the beginning of conflict mediation on Jan. 22. Of those, 498 were civilians.
The continued supply of armaments to the National Coalition from the United States and to the Syrian government from Russia continues to exacerbate the situation, reports Oxfam. A ceasefire, though proposed, is far from being executed. Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations mediator, arbitrates in Montreux, with reports stating that both opposite sides refuse to address one another.
The agenda is said to begin with the issue of humanitarian aid and the release of political prisoners. The real hard-hitting issue of a transitional government, however, is the stalling point.
Hom is located in the heart of Syria and has been a battleground since the start of conflict. For those in Hom living in starving conditions, people are turning towards growing radish and spinach indoors. The infrastructure is in ruin and little medicine available.
Though food envoys are ready to be released, neither side appears ready to allow humanitarian aid access to the famine-stricken city of Hom.
– Miles Abadilla
Sources: CBS News, Global Post, The Guardian, The Independent, Oxfam, Thomson Reuters