National Council on Canada-Arab Relations | Conseil National des Relations Canado-Arabes

July 29th, 2011 / 29 julliet, 2011 Pour version française, cliquez ici
July 29, 2011 (Ottawa): The National Council on Canada Arab Relations (NCCAR) has been following the latest incidents unfolding in various places in the Middle Eastand North Africa. We are particularly worried by recent news reports coming out of Syria in which the Syrian military has stepped up its operations to suppress the civilian protesters who have been demanding for fundamental changes to be implemented in the laws of the country. In addition, we are also gravely concerned about the situation in Yemen whereby various government and opposition forces are engaged in a violent conflict that have further deteriorated the already abysmal economic conditions in Yemen.

In their latest press release, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) talked about the humanitarian impact that the conflict in Yemen has produced thus far. Myriam El Kholi, the head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Aden recounted her observations when the conflict escalated in the southern Yemeni governorate of Abyan ‘When armed confrontations erupted, thousands of people left hastily, with nothing but the clothes they were wearing’. The report also states ‘the scarcity of fuel, gasand electricity and a sharp increase in the prices of several basic commodities are steadily taking a toll’. We at the council urge both the current government and opposition forces in Yemen  to bring a peaceful end to the civil unrest and to provide all the basic necessities for all Yemeni citizens in these worsening conditions.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights recently said the districts of Qabun and Rukneddin had a concentrated military presence, with thousands of security officers patrolling the area and cracking down on protesters. In addition, the death toll from the most recent protests in the city of Homs is estimated to be at 50. The latest crackdowns on protesters have led many Syrians to flee the country and claim refugee status in neighboring Turkey. Given these latest reports, we call on the government of Syria to immediately halt all the military actions that target innocent civilians and begin the process of a democratic transition that the people have demanded through protests over the past five months. The aspirations and the demands of the Syrian people have been consistent with international law.

NCCAR President, David Comerford, stated the need for Canada and the International Community to support the aspirations of the Syrian people and provide immediate humanitarian support to the Yemen through international humanitarian groups such as the ICRC and the United Nations.  “Several thousands of innocent civilians have died in the uprisings which have erupted throughout the Middle East and North Africa since earlier this year,” stated Mr. Comerford, “We urge the leaders of these countries to be true to the principles of freedom of expression, to put down their arms and to embrace the positive march forward toward democracy and dignity for their populations.”

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:

Imad Al-Sukkari
Operations Adviser
Telephone: 613-983-4623


David Comerford
116 Promenade du Portage
Gatineau, Qc
Telephone:  613 796 8081

Spokespeople are available in the following locations: Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto.

The National Council on Canada-Arab Relations (NCCAR) is a charitable organization whose mission is to build ties between Canadians and people of the Arab World in order to develop stronger relations and cooperation between them as well as raise an appreciation of their common values. NCCAR is a member-driven organization supported by Canadians of diverse backgrounds across Canada.

Le 21 Juillet, 2011 (Ottawa): le Conseil National sur les relations Canado-Arabes (CNRCA) suit de près les incidents récents dans le Moyen-Orient et l’Afrique du Nord. En particulier, des reportages provenant de la Syrie nous inquiètent, selon qui les forces armées Syriennes suppriment d’avantage les protestations des civils qui revendiquent des changements fondamentaux aux lois du pays. De plus, la situation au Yémen- où il y a maintenant des affrontements entre les forces du gouvernement et ceux opposant ce dernier- et ses conséquences sur une situation économique déjà pitoyable nous inquiètent gravement.

Dans leur récent communiqué de presse, le Comité International de la Croix-Rouge parla des effets du conflit au Yémen sur le plan humanitaire. Myriam El Kholi, chef de la délégation du comité en Aden, raconta ses observations sur la situation quand le conflit s’est exacerbé dans le gouvernorat Yéménite d’Abyan, au sud : «Quand les confrontations armés ont commencé, des milliers sont rapidement partis en apportant que les vêtements qu’ils portaient.» Le reportage fait connaître aussi que «une manque d’essence, de gaz et d’électricité en conjonction avec un croisement sévère dans les prix de plusieurs nécessités de base commencent à faire voir des effets néfastes.»

L’Observatoire Syrien des Droits de L’Homme dit récemment que les quartiers de Qabun et Rukneddin avaient une concentration militaire élevée, avec des milliers d’officiers patrouillant la région et supprimant les manifestants.  D’avantage, le nombre de morts dû à la plus récente répression est estimé d’être 50. Ces représailles mènent plusieurs Syriens à quitter leur patrie et de réclamer dans la Turquie avoisinante le statut de réfugié. Étant donné ces reportages, nous demandons au gouvernement de la Syrie de cesser immédiatement toute action militaire qui a comme cible des citoyens innocents et de commencer un processus de transition démocratique revendiqué par le peuple depuis les cinq derniers mois. Les demandes et espoirs du peuple Syrien sont en accordance avec les lois internationales.

Le président du CNRCA, David Comerford, a fait connaître le besoin de support envers les espoirs du peuple Syrien de la part du Canada et de la communauté internationale ainsi que le besoin d’assistance humanitaire au Yémen de la part d’organisations comme le Croix-Rouge et l’ONU. «Des milliers d’innocents civils sont mort en conséquence des récents soulèvements à travers le Moyen-Orient et l’Afrique du Nord,» a dit M. Comferford, «nous exhortons les dirigeants de ces pays d’êtres fidèles aux principes de la liberté d’expression, de déposer leurs armes et d’accepter une route vers la dignité et la démocratie.»


Pour plus d’information ou pour toute demande d’interview, veuillez contacter:

Imad Al-Sukkari
Trésorier, membre du CA
Téléphone: 613-983-4623

David Comerford
116 Promenade du Portage
Gatineau, Qc
Téléphone:  613 796 8081

Des représentants/portes-paroles sont disponibles dans les régions d’Ottawa, Montréal et Toronto.

Le Conseil national des relations canado-arabes (CNRCA) est un organisme caritatif dont la mission est de tisser des liens entre les Canadiens et les peuples du monde arabe pour créer des relations et une collaboration plus étroites entre eux, ainsi que pour mieux apprécier leurs valeurs communes. Le CNRCA est un organisme dirigé par ses membres et appuyé par des Canadiens de diverses origines dans l’ensemble du Canada.

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