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Justice crucial as Syrian rivals finally meet face-to-face

January 24, 2014
tags:#justice, #Syria

Syria peace talks in Geneva resumed today after a break yesterday when the UN mediator held separate talks with rival groups to discuss whether they would be willing to meet face-to-face.

Today talks continued and it was announced that the Syrian foes will meet tomorrow (Saturday).

This is the first time that major powers on both sides have attended the same conference in an effort to meet, and getting them into the same room will be a coup for UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi.

But despite this success, major human rights organisations are criticising the lack of discussion about justice for the Syrian people.

Human Rights Watch has published their own priorities for the peace talks, calling on world leaders to insist that justice be a key negotiation point.

An Avaaz petition calling for a ceasefire is also asking Syrians to join a live feed to have their demands heard in Geneva.

Reporting by National Public Radio tells that recently a gargantuan cache documenting killings by Syrian authorities was delivered to three key war-crimes experts. The piece argues that justice must be a key discussion point in Geneva, citing the failure of the agreement that ended Lebanese war as an example.

The Taif agreement, which was brokered by the same mediator Brahimi, did not mention justice, and the Lebanese people are still paying the price, reports NPR. If the peace talks are to succeed, justice for brutality must be addressed.

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