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UN and Madaya.. “It’s a game we play”

By Fadi Dahouk |   january 1- 2016, This article was originally published by Al-Modon

The presence of Madaya situation in the media has confused Hezbollah party, the Syrian regime, and their supporters who went out of control; whose minds have been invaded by sadistic and barbarous ideas; and began to take pictures of food dishes to peeve starving people in Madaya, and solidary groups. In the context of those “selfies” with rice and chicken, It was remarkable to note that a big number of writers went on to disclaim Madaya story, but they raised questions concerning the roles of international community and United nation in this crisis.

Where is the United Nations?

In May 2014, Mr. Jacob Al-Helou, united nations humanitarian coordinator in Syria, said in an interview with Syrian news channel: “Syrian state institutions are still working, and providing services to big numbers of civilians, even in regions outside of their control”. And he added in the same interview: “It is not possible to manipulate Syria because any manipulation of its security or safety represents a direct manipulation with global safety and security”.

Mr. Al-Helou has designated in Syrian in 2013 after the credence of his documents by the Walid Muallem, the minister of foreign affairs. He began his post at the same time the humanitarian crisis in Syria has started to worsen due to the intervention of Iran and Hezbollah, in addition to using explosive barrels because of their low-cost and lethality.

Before Al-Helou appointment, the United Nations has launched the biggest humanitarian appeal in its history: “humanitarian response plan”. In that time, Syrian regime was entering into an agreement with the UN, which guarantees the Syrian regime access to one-third of the resources of that appeal to use them in relief operations inside Syria. One of Damascus’s government conditions was for the United Nation to choose 44 organizations out of 110 organizations accepted by Syrian government as “local partners”.

The objectives of these organizations, which have been registered by the regime and work under its control -or under the control of organizations owned by Al-Assad’s wife-, were to deliver the United Nations assistance to needy people in Syria. The international organization has forced to accept regime’s terms.

The United Nations can’t take any strategic or logistical decisions in Syria, such as providing any aid, or creating offices and sites in Syria without getting permissions licenses from the Syrian government first.

The relationship between the Syrian regime and the United Nations has been strengthened after the big breach for “humanitarian response plan”. For the first time the government of Damascus gave permission for the UNDP to work in Syria, based on this fact many moments, and agreements are measured.

In that period, and perhaps till now, it seems that the United Nations ambassador is the magic solution of the besieged areas. Unfortunately the agreement of (Unloading Homos) is always going to be the most prominent example to indicate the size of the (international crime) committed in Syria. Al-Helou was the UN mediator in the agreement, which was completed in 2014, and led to the evacuation of the old neighborhoods of Homos from its population and fighters, and got them out to the northern countryside. He has worked on this file with his security adviser Mohammed Nada, and his assistant William Stringio, commissioned by the UN envoy, then, Lakhdar Brahimi.

Supposed to begin, today or tomorrow, the delivering of the food aid to Madaya in the countryside of Damascus, and food aid and fuel to Kefraya and Alfoua’a in the countryside of Idlib, according to several sources. The announcement made in a statement, last week, by the United Nations ambassador, who had also overseen the earlier the agreement of evacuating Zabadani.

At first glance, it seems that talking about providing food to Madaya, in exchange of fuel to Kafrya and Alfoua’a, is a microcosm of the The Oil-for-Food Programme (OIP) imposed by the United Nations on Iraq in 1996. This reference, of course, is not a hint that the people of Madaya, who are “pretending to be hungry” as per the opinion of the selfies’ people, are hiding ladders under their beds leading to wells for oil, but it is one historic moment of a track record full of corruption, during which the United Nations has been influenced by the people they have worked with, and only yesterday the United Nation admitted distributing 320 parcels of expired biscuits to the trapped people in Zabadani and Madaya. That was in last October, this gives an answer to the questions of the wondering people: Why now starting to say that Madaya is trapped?

In late 2011, Assad made the first interview with the American media, following the outbreak of protests against his regime, the American media Barbara Walters asked him in an interview for the US network ABC on a report issued by the United Nations at the time, included testimonies of people tortured in Syria. Assad answered: “Who said that the United Nations is a credible institution? It is not something new. It was before my generation, which is something we have inherited as a concept ..”, then Walters asked “but you have an ambassador to the United Nations?” he replied, “It’s a game we play, this does not mean that we believe it”.

There is no doubt that there is an end of each game, but the end of the UN game is still as Assad likes it to be, till now. Last year, Syria was chosen by the United Nations to write a condemning message to the “decolonization” conference, and a condemning message to the conference of “enslavement of peoples combating”. And a year before that Syria was also chosen to be a judge at the Commission of UNESCO human rights.

Were those decisions really issued by the United Nations? Or by one of Assad’s wife’s charitable organizations that the United Nations choose for carrying out its relief activities in Syria?

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