Reconciliation Initiatives in Daraa: A Testimony for History

protests in Daraa
Flickr, msergie

Reconciliation Initiatives in Daraa: A Testimony for History

By Haytham Manna, President of the Scandinavian Institute for Human Rights/HMF

The southern city of Daraa was the birthplace of the peaceful Syrian uprising that started in March 2012. This genuine Syrian movement was met with accusations of conspiracy and vandalism by the Government of Syria (GoS), whose aggressive responses provoked similar reactions from local population. The Houranian people (Daraa city residents), who are known for their peacefulness and sensitivity towards strangers, detested the militarization of the uprising, and they resisted the increasing presence of foreign armed elements (Hezbollah, Nusra Front, ISIS). The feeling of loss of their identity and space to outsiders was acute. The reconciliation with the GoS came about through negotiations with the Russians in mid-2018. Houran people took it as an opportunity to avoid a costly military confrontation with the GoS, restore peacefulness, and expel the foreign militias. This author was part of the negotiations and involved in deliberations at many junctures, and this testimony was prepared in consultation with the principal members of the reconciliation negotiations with the Russians and the GoS.

The ideas expressed are of the author’s not the publisher or the author’s affiliation

Published in October 2020

All rights reserved to GCSP

Part of the Syria Transition Challenges Project

Haytham Manna studied medicine, anthropology, and International Law. Author of 56 books and thesis on Human Rights, Islam, Women and Civil resistance. Director of the “Short Universal of Human Rights”. He founded Qamh courant (Values, Citizenship, Rights) in 2015. President of the Scandinavian Institute for Human Rights/HMF.