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FACTDROP: UN, AL considering joint observer mission for Syria


UN, AL considering joint observer mission for Syria

Πηγή: The Nation
Feb 10 2012

UNITED NATIONS- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned that the new attacks against civilians in the Syrian city of Homs were “a grim harbinger of worse to come.”

Speaking to reporters, he said the United Nations and the League of Arab States are considering sending a joint observer mission to Syria to try to end the crisis engulfing the Middle East country.

“For too many months, we have watched this crisis deepen,” Ban said at UN Headquarters following the closed-door Council briefing. “We have seen escalating violence, brutal crackdowns and tremendous suffering by the Syrian people.”

The secretary-general briefed the Security Council Wednesday afternoon on the latest developments in Syria, where well over 5,000 people have been killed as a result of a Government crackdown since a pro-democracy uprising began in March last year.

“I briefed the Security Council. Many members expressed their views about the proposal. In the coming days, we will further consult the Council before fleshing out details. We stand ready to assist in any way that will contribute towards improvement on the ground and to the overall situation.” he said.

Ban said the Council’s failure to agree on collective action regarding Syria – last Saturday, Russia and China vetoed a draft resolution supported by the Council’s 13 other members – was deeply regrettable. The draft text had endorsed an Arab League plan to resolve the crisis.

“The failure to do so is disastrous for the people of Syria. It has encouraged the Syrian Government to step up its war on its own people. Thousands have been killed in cold blood… I fear that the appalling brutality we are witnessing in Homs, with heavy weapons firing into civilian neighbourhoods, is a grim harbinger of worse to come.”

The Secretary-General asked: “How many deaths will it take to halt this dangerous slide toward civil war and sectarian strife?”

According to AFP more than 70 people died in violence across Syria on Thursday, activists said, with the majority killed in a fierce assault by regime forces on the flashpoint central town of Homs.

Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 61 people were killed in shelling and other violence in Homs province.

He said 36 died in the Baba Amr neighbourhood of Homs city and 11 were killed when a shell slammed into their house in the protest hub’s Inshaat district.

Abdel Rahman added that six people died in the city’s Khaldiyeh and Karm el-Zeytoun neighbourhoods.

Elsewhere, an army colonel and seven security forces members were killed when rebels ambushed two buses near the southern town of Daraa, cradle of the revolt against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Four other civilians were killed including a young woman in northwest Idlib province and a man died of wounds he suffered the day before in Daraa.

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