Ceasefire Monitoring Team to Visit Syria

To check if Assad regime is fulfulling its promise to halt all military fighting in the war-hit Syria, the Security Council today authorized the deployment of ceasefire monitoring team consisting of 30 unarmed military observers.

The monitoring team is tasked to report on the implementation of a full cessation of armed violence.

In a resolution adopted unanimously, the Council called on all parties to guarantee the safety of the advance team, guarantee its freedom of movement and access, stressing that the primary responsibility in that regard lies with the Syrian authorities.

Susan E. Rice, Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN and President of the Security Council for April, addresses the meeting at which the Council, through it unanimous adoption of resolution 2042 (2012), has authorized the deployment of a ceasefire monitoring team to Syria. Resolution 2042 (2012) also calls for full implementation of Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s sixpoint proposal, and expresses the Council’s intention to establish a UN supervision mission in Syria if the ceasefire is sustained.

UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

The 15-member UN body also requested the Secretary-General to immediately report to the Council any obstructions to the work of team by any party.

The Council notes that the resolution just adopted reaffirms the Council’s support for all elements of the Kofi Annan’s plan, including an immediate end to violence, securing humanitarian access, and a Syrian-led political transition that meets the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people.

The resolution stresses also that the Syrian government must immediately fulfil its remaining obligations to bring about a full cessation of violence.

It emphasizes the necessity of the Syrian government immediately withdrawing all its troops and heavy weapons from population centers and returning its soldiers and their equipment to their barracks.

The Council also requested the Secretary-General to report to it on the implementation of today’s resolution by 19th of April, and expressed its intention to assess the implementation and “to consider further steps as appropriate.

The supervision mission will be authorized on the basis of a formal proposal from the Secretary-General, which the Security Council requested to receive not later than 18 April.

The team will verify that the Syrian government is doing what it is obliged to do, including ensuring that the full monitoring mission can do its job, unimpeded, with full freedom of movement, full access to people and institutions, and unobstructed communications.

The resolution also expresses the Council’s intention to establish a larger observer mission once the Secretary General presents a blueprint and if it is clear that the cease-fire is holding and the government is cooperating.

Earlier this week, the Syrian government has informed Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States Kofi Annan that it will cease all military fighting throughout Syrian territory today.

Syrian government has ceased military actions as of 6:00 a.m. (Damascus time) last Thursday, 12th April 2012.

Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations Secretary General, has appointed his predecessor, Kofi Annan, as international (UN-Arab League) Special Envoy to Syria. The UN comunique underscored that “The Special Envoy will provide good offices aimed atbringing an end to all violence and human rights violations, and promotinga peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis.”

The UN and Arab League’s Joint Special Envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan (left), meets with Major General Robert Mood of Norway, who has been appointed to lead a technical team from the UN to Syria.UN Photo/Fabrice Arlot

On his visit to Syria’s capital Damascus on March 12, Mr. Kofi Annan urged President Bashar al-Assad to embrace change and reforms.

Mr. Annan’s six-point plan to end the violence was submitted during his visit to Damascus last month.

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

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 10,000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.

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.