HOW TO SUSTAIN
THE APPEAL FOR PEACE

Call for the Associations

Why the Appeal for Peace?

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"We fled from our homes in Syria because we didn't want to kill or be killed. We have paid an enormous price for our freedom. We want to live with freedom and dignity, and we want to make a peaceful return to our homeland."

These are the words of our Syrian friend, Abu Rabia, moved from Lebanon to Italy a year ago, thanks to Humanitarian Corridors and the many people who have helped create a route that didn’t exist before.
Like many people that have lost everything and humanity is their only richness, our Syrian friends have decided to think big and they have written an Appeal for Peace in Syria.
Together, we listened to the desire of the many Syrian refugees who want to return to Syria, and we are proposing the creation of Safe Zones in Syria, into which no army or armed group would be allowed entry and asking for a peace where responsibilities are clear, which creates a new Syria for those who don't want violence.
The basis of the idea is simple: “why are the representatives of the forces destroying our country the only ones sat at the negotiating table? Why do we only have the possibility to escape and we are not allowed to put our lives, our ideas, our strength and our hopes for the creation of a peace proposal?”
Last November (2016), we took our first official step, in presenting the proposal to the Vice President of the European Union, Frans Timmermans, who in turn said he would like to include it in the EU's official proposal for peace in Syria.

In March of this year, we presented our Peace Proposal to Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

On the 20th June 2017 we presented the Peace Proposal to the Chamber of Deputies in Rome.

WE ASK

anybody interested to contact us and support us in any way possible, be it through public meetings, further distribution of our proposal or by supporting our presence in Lebanon with the refugees and all the Syrian families hosted in Italy.

Those bringing war to Syria are strong because of the weapons and money they buy them with. Those who want to build a peaceful Syria, without violence, can trust on the strength of solidarity, on the tenacity to spread new ideas and open the way for change: this is a love which becomes a political proposal, stronger than fear.

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WE THE SYRIANS


Refugees Appeal for Peace


We the Syrians, refugees in northern Lebanon, gathered in organisations and associations, simple citizens and families, escaped from violence and death. Five years since the beginning of the war that has destroyed our country, we still live, millions of us, without a home or the opportunity to work, without medical assistance or education for our children; we do not have a future.
In our country there are more than 200 military groups that expelled us from our houses, made legitimate only by the power of violence. We still get killed, we are forced to fight, to live in fear, to escape and we are continuously humiliated and abused.
At the peace talks, only those who have economical and political interests in Syria participate and we do not consider them bearers of our requests.
We are the real victims of this war and the only right we have is to silently choose how to die. But in the thunderous sound of weapons, we claim the right to let the world hear our voice together with those who already support us and those who will join this appeal.

WE ASK

  • For the creation of humanitarian areas in Syria, where people who choose neutrality instead of conflict, are provided with international protection and where armed stakeholders cannot enter, as is the case for example in the Peace Community of San José de Apartadò in Colombia (http://www.corteidh.or.cr/docs/medidas/apartado_se_05.pdf). We want humanitarian passageways to be opened in order to bring civilians in danger safely towards the end of the war and all the refugees to go back, living a secure life in their country;
  • For the end of the war: an immediate end to the bombings, along with ending the supply of weapons, and the elimination of all weapons already in the country. Ending the siege of the dozens of Syrian cities (www.siegewatch.org) where civilians have no access to medical and humanitarian support and that those people to be assisted immediately and kept safe;
  • For prompt assistance to the victims and support for those who are helping them: Freeing political prisoners and searching for the kidnapped and missing people; that the wounded and disabled because of the war are rescued and assisted, now and in the future;
  • That every sort of terrorism and extremism be fought, but not through massacring innocent and disarmed civilians as now; this situation foments terrorism itself
  • That a political solution to the war be found and the civilians who refused the war be represented at the Geneva peace talks, not only those who destroyed Syria;
  • The creation of a national unity government which represents all Syrians in their diversity and which respects their dignity and their rights. We want truth and justice about who is responsible for this disaster and that the people who are trying to rebuild our country and those who are risking their lives to assist the victims be free to operate. Today, we want to call upon the best international forces, in order to promote coexistence and reconciliation, to stop the war and create a brand new future for our country.


Promoted by: Operazione Colomba*, Non-violent Peace Corp of the “Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII” Association.

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* OPERAZIONE COLOMBA (www.operazionecolomba.it) has worked in Lebanon since September 2013, initially with exploratory trips throughout the country and since April 2014, with a stable presence at the refugee camp and in the village of Tel Abbas, 5 kilometres from the Syrian border. After coping with the intimidation and brutality of some local Lebanese, the refugees asked the volunteers of Operazione Colomba to live with them, because a civil and unarmed presence of international volunteers can provide a strong deterrent to the use of violence. For three years, the volunteers of Operazione Colomba have shared their life with the refugees in the camps of Lebanon. This experience allows the volunteers of Operazione Colomba to collect information and voice the requests of the Syrian and other refugees who escaped the war because they do not want to be forced to fight or be killed.

Syrian refugees drawing the logo on Operazione Colomba’s tent


Operazione Colomba’s tent in Tel Abbas refugee camp

 
 
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