Syria: Russia proposes extended UN mission

2012-07-11 07:54
AP

AP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

Destruction in Syria

2012-07-10 10:23

An activist filmed this video of destruction in Homs. The city has sustained heavy shelling in recent weeks and there is large destruction in the area due to the bombardment of rockets. WATCH

kalahari.com

Geneva - Russia circulated among UN Security Council members on Tuesday a draft resolution to extend a UN mission in Syria for three months so it can shift focus from monitoring a non-existent truce to securing a political solution to the conflict.

The deeply divided council must decide the future of the mission, known as UNSMIS, before 20 July when its initial 90-day mandate expires. International envoy Kofi Annan is due to brief the council on Wednesday on his bid to broker peace in Syria.

Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces have killed more than 15 000 people since a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters began in March 2011, some Western leaders say. Damascus says rebels have killed several thousand of its security forces.

The Russian draft resolution is unlikely to satisfy the United States and European council members, who have called for a resolution under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which allows the council to authorise actions ranging from diplomatic and economic sanctions to military intervention.

US officials have said they are talking about sanctions on Syria, not military intervention.

Russia's Deputy UN Ambassador Alexander Pankin said a resolution under Chapter 7 would be "counterproductive" in what he described as a "delicate situation". Russia and China have previously vetoed UN resolutions designed to pressure Assad.

Military observers

"There is no mention of Chapter 7 [in the Russian draft] and that's a matter of principle for us because we believe the special envoy is doing a commendable job," Pankin said. "[The draft] is a continuation of the mission bearing in mind the recommendations of the Secretary-General."

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has recommended the emphasis of UNSMIS' work shift from military observers - who suspended most of their monitoring activities on 16 June because of increased risk amid rising violence - to the roughly 100 civilian staff focusing on a political solution and issues like human rights.

The mission would keep its current mandate for up to 300 unarmed observers under this option, but significantly fewer likely would be needed to support the new focus.

The Russian draft resolution, obtained by Reuters, does not specify a number but "stresses the need for UNSMIS to have a military observer capability to conduct effective verification and fact-finding tasks".

It also "calls upon all Syrian parties to guarantee the safety of UNSMIS personnel without prejudice to its freedom of movement and access, and stresses that the primary responsibility in this regard lies with the Syrian authorities".

The resolution also strongly urges all parties to cease all violence and stressed "that it is for the Syrian people to find a political solution and that the Syrian parties must be prepared to put forward effective and mutually acceptable interlocutors" to work with Annan toward an agreement.

Step-by-step

One Security Council diplomat, who did not want to be named, described the Russian draft as "basically a rollover".

"At the very least it needs to be combined with some real pressure on the parties," he said. "The council will need to address the Syria situation in a more comprehensive way."

Annan met with Assad in Damascus on Monday before travelling to Iran and Iraq for talks on the conflict. Annan said Assad had suggested easing the conflict on a step-by-step basis, starting with districts that have suffered the worst violence.

Read more on:    un  |  kofi annan  |  bashar assad  |  russia  |  syria  |  uprisings  |  syria conflict
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
23 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

7 tips for the ultimate family camping trip

Taking the kids on a camping trip can be one of the most memorable holidays they will ever have!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

BASE jump off the world’s tallest building!
Stand up paddler rides over shark!
Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Pushing too hard and doing too much may have left you feeling drained and overwhelmed. You may need time out to recharge and reset...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.