Syria's non-violent opposition groups seek end of fighting

Report
from Agence France-Presse
Published on 28 Aug 2012

08/28/2012 18:17 GMT

DAMASCUS, Aug 28, 2012 (AFP) - Some 20 non-violent Syrian opposition parties and movements said in a meeting in Damascus on Tuesday that they seek to establish a democratic regime without resorting to arms.

"We are faced with two sides that use violence, but weapons only lead to attrition," said Raja Nassar, who coordinated the gathering.

Syria's 17-month uprising started off as a peaceful revolt, but was faced with such brutal repression that it turned into a bloody armed insurgency against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Opposed both to the regime and to the rebel Free Syrian Army, the movements said they were organising a conference in September to call for "democratic change that preserves the unity of the nation and social peace."

"The regime has unleashed almost all its force on the ground, and has been unable to defeat the armed opposition, which for its part has yet to win a single victory," veteran dissident Nasser told journalists.

The parties and movements taking part in the gathering are opposed to both the main opposition coalition -- the Syrian National Council -- and the FSA, which have consistently called for international intervention against the regime.

"The danger is the continuity of this tyrannical regime, which has chosen a military solution and whose result is the complete destruction of the state and the collapse of society, paving the way for civil war," the movements said in a joint statement.

"Syrians are not looking for personal revenge, and the majority of those who lost children or their homes are ready to accept solutions that are in the interests of the nation and which put an end to destruction," said writer and veteran dissident Louai Hussein who attended Tuesday's gathering.

"There is no other way except to find a political solution, but that doesn't mean that we are going to forgive the regime, or accept it," said Hussein, who was jailed for seven years.

More than 25,000 people have been killed since the outbreak of the revolt in March last year, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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