Is Presence of UN Observers in Syria Effective to Cease Violence?


Amid ongoing violence in parts of Syria, immediate calming effect on the ground was cited brought about by the arrival of the presence of UNSMIS.

Reports say military observers on the ground has an overall calming effect in their areas of deployment in the Middle Eastern country.

head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria Major-General Robert Mood said the Mission is pleased to see and witness an immediate calming effect brought about by their arrival

Major General Robert Mood (at podium) holds his first press conference as Chief Military Observer and Head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), in the Syrian town of Homs.

UN Photo/Are Blikeng

“This has been challenged by asymmetric incidents, sometimes intense, but [only] in some locations.” – Major-General Mood

The Mission is seeing in the areas where observers were deployed that they have both a calming effect on the ground and they are seeing that they have a good dialogue and the dialogue is expanding both with the authorities and the opposition elements.

However, Major-General Mood noted that violence is continuing as UNSMIS deploys.

He says “no volume of observers can achieve a progressive drop and a permanent end to the violence, if the commitment to give dialogue a chance is not genuine from all internal and external actors.”

He cites that the Mission plans to help bring [about] talks between parties on the ground on urgently needed stability.

“We must be given a real chance to do that from the fighting parties and their supporters.” -Major-General Mood

The UNSMIS chief said that the Mission is on its way to full deployment, with some 260 military observers on the ground, hailing from 60 UN Member States, and that he expected the Mission to be fully operational soon, in “record time.”

Earlier this month, at least six soldiers were wounded as bomb hit UN Observer Convoy while entering the city of Dara’a.

Reports say the roadside bomb exploded after the passage of four vehicles carrying the UN team, hitting the troops travelling behind them.

The Security Council has authorized the establishment of a United Nations observer mission to Syria, for an initial period 90 days.

In a unanimous decision, Council members passed a resolution calling for the formation of the “United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), comprising an initial deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers as well as an appropriate civilian component.”

The UNSMIS is tasked with monitoring the cessation of violence in Syria and supporting the full implementation of a six-point plan put forward by Mr. Kofi Annan.

On 27th of March 27, Mr. Annan reported that the Syrian government had accepted the six point-plan and pledged to implement it.

According to report, below is the the six-point plan which asks the Syrian authorities to:

(1) commit to work with the Envoy in an inclusive Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people

(2) commit to stop the fighting and achieve urgently an effective United Nations supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians

(3) ensure timely provision of humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the fighting, and to this end, as immediate steps, to accept and implement a daily two hour humanitarian pause

(4) intensify the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons, including especially vulnerable categories of persons, and persons involved in peaceful political activities, provide without delay through appropriate channels a list of all places in which such persons are being detained

(5) ensure freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists and a non-discriminatory visa policy for them;

(6) respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed.

The adoption of resolution 2042 in which the Council unanimously has called on the Syrian government to honor all its obligations, including a sustained cessation of violence.

However, the regime has unleashed yet another wave of horrific violence against its own people resulting in the deaths of scores of Syrians daily.

The violence in Syria, which began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa, has claimed over 9,000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.

RT crew & UN observers on Syrian ‘civil war’ frontline

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.