Syrian opposition drafts a road map for day after Assad


Syrian opposition activists have drafted a political roadmap after a possible ouster of President Bashar al-Assad, drawing on examples from other states that moved to democracy such as South Africa.

The working group, which brought together a broad spectrum of political organisations and religious faiths, produced a report called “The Day After Project: Supporting a Democratic Transition in Syria”.

In a copy of the document obtained by AFP, the drafters said they saw their recommendations as a “starting point” for discussion on how to achieve stability, security and the rule of law after a fall of Assad.

“We view this document as our collective contribution to an ongoing debate among Syrians — both inside and outside the country — about the most effective ways to manage the challenges that are sure to arise following the end of the Assad regime (which is an outcome that can no longer be in doubt),” they wrote.

The project was initiated by the Washington-based United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in partnership with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin and developed by about 45 Syrians.

Participants included women as well as men, members of the Syrian National Council, the Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups, those with experience in the Free Syrian Army and youth activists.

The project lays out goals including developing a new national identity based on civic unity, building consensus on key democratic principles and revamping the security forces to protect the rights of all citizens.

It also calls for a special independent tribunal to try former members of the regime on crimes committed against the Syrian people.

The document, the first of its kind from the Syrian opposition, offers recommendations for writing a new constitution and principles for institution building, and cites South Africa’s post-apartheid transition as potentially “instructive”.

The USIP is to present the report, which was developed at monthly meetings from January to June, at a press conference in the German capital on Tuesday.

new Vision, AFP