Thursday Apr 19, 201209:35 AM GMT
UN chief submits plan to dispatch 300 observers to Syria
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:34AM
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An opportunity for progress (for peace in Syria) may now exist, on which we need to build."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has proposed a plan for the deployment of some 300 monitors in Syria for a three-month period.


Ban submitted the request in a Wednesday report to the UN Security Council, adding "An opportunity for progress may now exist, on which we need to build."

The body to be known as the UN Supervision Mission in Syria, UNSMIS, will be deployed in 10 different parts across the country for several weeks to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire which started on April 12 and the six-point plan by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

The observer mission, comprised of political, human rights, civil affairs, public information, public security, gender and other advisors, is, however, not tasked with humanitarian assistance duties.

The Security Council will discuss Ban’s report on Thursday and, upon consensus of its 15 members, it is expected to issue a resolution by early next week, which will allow the UNSMIS to go ahead with its assigned obligations.

The proposed mission would "greatly contribute to observing and upholding the commitment of the parties to a cessation of armed violence in all its forms," Ban said.

The UN chief’s report expressed satisfaction that violence "dropped markedly" when the ceasefire began, but noted that Damascus "has yet to fully implement its initial obligations regarding the actions and deployments of its troops and heavy weapons, or to return them to barracks.”

Ban called on President Bashar al-Assad to ‘fully’ pledge to the proposed plan.

Calm has returned to most parts of Syria since the ceasefire was announced almost a week ago, though there have been reports of sporadic clashes in some parts of the country, with Damascus accusing armed groups of violating the truce by continuing attacks on government forces.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011 and many people, including security forces, have been killed in the unrest.

ASH/GHN/MA
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