The below post is from the Revolutionary Council of Homs dated today and signed by Bayan Seif El Din from the Revolution Council. Below that I’ve posted the original Arabic.
Have we finally reached this point where a direct parallel between Srebrenica and Homs is possible?
Revolutionary Council of Homs
April 4, 2012
What is happening in Syria generally, and particularly in Homs, is ethnic cleansing that is far more atrocious than what happened in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica. The Serbs forced between 50 and 80 thousand Bosnians out of Srebrenica to change the demographics of the population and replace the native Muslim population with Serbs. The Syrian regime is also carrying out an atrocious ethnic cleansing campaign in Homs by forcing more than half a million of Homs natives out of their homes and immediately replacing them with Alawites. All of this is going on while the international, Arab, and Muslim communities remain silent.
For those who do not know the demographic of the city of Homs, here is a little synopsis:
Alawites came to the city of Homs and lived on its edges starting in 1965, and initially, there were only a few families. They spread then in several areas like Nuzha, Zahraa, Akrama, and Wadi al-Thahab, near other residential areas.
What has happened in the last two months – February and March of 2012 – is that nearly half a million people who live in predominantly Sunni neighborhoods near the aforementioned Alawite neighborhoods, were forced to leave their homes. This came after the residents witnessed atrocious crimes including slaughtering women and children; burning and abusing dead bodies; group-raping women and little girls, some of whom under the age of 12; terrorizing the residents with heavy bombing and destroying their homes on top of them; cutting off water, electricity, and communications; and preventing food and medicine from reaching these neighborhoods.
After the residents left their homes, the regime immediately brought loyalist Alawite and Shia families to live in the homes that belong to mostly Sunni families. The regime’s thugs then looted the other homes that remained unoccupied and robbed their contents in an organized manner, and then they set the homes on fire. The regime had formed groups, each of which was responsible for stealing specific things. For example, a group was responsible for stealing dishes and silverware, another was responsible for stealing washer, another group was responsible for stealing propane tanks, and so forth. In this manner, it has become impossible for the displaced residents to come back to their homes.
Here are some estimates that the Revolutionary Council of Homs has obtained regarding the number of displaced residents according to neighborhoods:
Karm al-Zeitoun and Nazeheen: 55000
Bab Sbaa, Adawiyeh, and Mrejeh: 50000
Bab Draib: 20000
Bab Tadmur: 20000
Jib al-Jandali: 25000
Ashira and Sitteen: 15000
Baba Amr: 80000
The total estimated number of people forced to migrate exceeds half a million people, and this is the largest displacement operation known in recent history, happening right in front of the entire world and went unnoticed as if nothing had happened. Most of the displaced people have either become migrants in their own country – in nearby villages or in other cities like Damascus, Hama, and Aleppo – or refugees outside Syria.
So will there be a Homsenica or should we just forget this city?
By: Bayan Saif el-Din
Revolutionary Council of Homs