UN monitors tour Syria towns

2012-04-23 12:00
Damascus - United Nations ceasefire monitors were touring towns near the Syrian capital on Monday, an official said, as the European Union slapped new sanctions on the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Neeraj Singh, spokesperson for an eight-member advance team of UN observers deployed in Syria, said monitors would be visiting areas near Damascus in hopes of making sure a tenuous ceasefire that went into effect on 12 April sticks.

"The advance team is continuing its work carrying out daily visits, establishing liaison with all parties and preparing for the UN supervision mission in Syria which has been established by the UN Security Council," Singh said.

He said the advance team would be joined by two additional observers on Monday.

A total of 30 observers are expected in Syria in coming days pending the arrival of an expanded team of up to 300 observers as part of a truce brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan.

But it will be up to UN chief Ban Ki-moon to determine whether the situation is safe enough to deploy the 300 observers for an initial 90-day period.

Base set u pin Homs


Annan on Tuesday is to brief the Security Council on the situation.

The advance team last week toured several flashpoint regions across the country, including the battered city of Homs where two observers set up base on Sunday.

But despite a lull in the fighting in regions visited by the observers, the violence has continued unabated in other areas, activists say.

At least 28 people were killed at the weekend, including five soldiers, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group.

The United Nations has said that more than 9 000 people have died since the revolt against Assad's regime broke out in March last year.

Activists and some Western countries have cast doubt on the regime's sincerity in upholding the ceasefire and have accused Assad of simply seeking to buy time and to appease the international community.

Posh lifestyle

In a sign of Western frustration with Damascus, the European Union agreed on Monday to slap new sanctions on the regime, banning luxury goods exports and further restricting the sale of items used to repress dissidents, a diplomat said.

"These sanctions will be put in place against Syria," the diplomat said after EU ambassadors endorsed the measures ahead of a meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

The extent of the luxury ban has yet to be defined but the aim is to deliver a symbolic blow against the posh lifestyle of Assad and his glamorous British-born wife Asma, another diplomat said.

"The Assad couple, as well as his inner circle and leaders of the regime must be made to understand that events in Syria will also impact their personal lives," the source added.

Brussels also decided to expand the blacklist of dual-use goods which can be used for internal repression or for the manufacturing of equipment used for internal repression.

Annan at the weekend singled out Assad's government in an appeal for an end to hostilities by both loyalist forces and rebels seeking to oust him.

Government commitment


"I urge all forces whether governmental, opposition or others to put down their weapons and work with the United Nations monitors to consolidate the fragile cessation of violence," Annan said in a statement.

"The government in particular must desist from the use of heavy weapons and, as it has committed, withdraw such weapons and armed units from population centres and implement fully its commitments under the six-point plan."

Violence across Syria on Sunday killed at least 17 people, including five soldiers, while 11 died on Saturday, according to the Observatory.

- SAPA
Read more on:    un  |  kofi annan  |  bashar al-assad  |  syria  |  sanctions  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings
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
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Engineering Manager

Western Cape
Pro-Tech Recruitment
R850 000 - R1 100 000 Per Year

Analyst Developer

Western Cape
Progressive IT Resourcing (Pty) Ltd

Mobile Marketing Manager

Western Cape
Recruit Digital
R15 000 - R22 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Paarl

Houses R 1 900 000

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Durbanville

Houses R 2 400 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. 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

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...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.