UN leader calls for three-month observer mission in Syria

By AFP
Published: April 19, 2012

U.N. monitoring team visiting a location of protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. PHOTO: REUTERS

UNITED NATIONS: UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday called for a three-month observation mission in Syria with 300 monitors saying there was a “chance for progress” despite the government’s failure to implement a peace plan.

Ban said in a report to the UN Security Council, obtained by AFP, that 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.”

But the UN secretary general warned it was “critical” that President Bashar al-Assad full carry out a promise to “cease troop movements towards population centres, cease all use of heavy weapons in population centres, and begin the pullback of military concentrations in and around population centres.”

The report will be discussed by the 15-member Security Council on Thursday and diplomats said a resolution allowing the 300-member observer mission could be ready by early next week.

The report was prepared after the council passed a resolution on Saturday which sent an advanced party of 30 unarmed military observers to Syria where a fragile cessation of hostilities started one week ago.

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