Annan tells UN Syria welshing on deal

2012-04-12 20:06

New York - UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan told the Security Council on Thursday that Syria has not fully complied with the terms of his peace plan and urged the 15-nation body to demand the withdrawal of troops and heavy weapons from towns, council diplomats said.

Annan also told council members that Syria's fragile truce needs support and called for the swift deployment of a first wave of unarmed observers to monitor implementation of his six-point peace plan, to be followed by a second wave of observers later, diplomats told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

A UN-backed ceasefire aimed at halting more than a year of bloodshed in Syria appeared to be holding early on Thursday but anti-government activists saw no sign that President Bashar al-Assad was pulling his forces out of restive cities.

Asked if Annan told the council the Syrian army still had troops and heavy weapons in towns, one envoy said: "Yes he did.

Annan also told the Security Council that the "ceasefire needs to be supported because it's fragile, [he] wants deployment of a mission of observers with a second wave later to monitor implementation of the six-point plan, with guarantees by Damascus," the diplomat said.

Annan also urged the council "to demand withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops".

Another diplomat confirmed his remarks.

The former UN secretary-general said earlier in a statement that "Syria is experiencing a rare moment of calm on the ground," adding that it "must be sustained".

"The Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, will be asking the Security Council for approval of the deployment of a U.N. Observer Mission as soon as possible," Annan said in his statement.

"This will allow us to move quickly to launch a serious political dialogue that will address the concerns and aspirations of the Syrian people," he said.

Annan's six-point plan calls for a ceasefire by Syrian armed forces and rebels and dialogue between the government and opposition aimed at a "political transition" for the country. 

Rapid deployment

AFP reports Annan also asked the 15-nation council to authorise the quick deployment of an observer mission to Syria, diplomats said.

The UN plan is for a small initial force to be sent followed by reinforcements so that Annan's peace plan can be fully monitored.

Annan said in his statement before the meeting that an observer mission would "allow us to move quickly to launch a serious dialogue that will address the concerns and aspirations of the Syrian people."

Any deployment of a UN mission requires a Security Council resolution. Russia and China have vetoed the two attempts so far to pass resolutions on the crisis in Syria.

But the two countries have also stepped up diplomatic pressure on the Damascus government in recent days to comply with the Annan plan.

The United States and European powers on the Security Council have expressed strong doubts that the Syrian government will stick to the Annan plan and called for measures against Assad if the ceasefire fails.

One diplomat at Thursday's meeting said however that the ceasefire was "a glimmer of hope" and that "rapid council action" to support Annan was likely.

  • Graham - 2012-04-12 20:40

    They like our government, can't tell the truth or keep a promise!

  • Graham - 2012-04-12 20:45

    I've got corrupt dictatorship. Our government has probably killed more of its own people, much more!

  • Christopher - 2012-04-12 21:04

    Syrian government is screwed in the head...take them out!!

  • Fidel - 2012-04-13 01:01

    The reason tanks and troops are still in position is to prevent a “security vaccum” developing, also whats to stop the FSA slipping back into these towns if the troops did withdraw. I think we will see a gradual reduction if the ceasefire holds.

      Fred - 2012-04-13 03:09

      Yeah right. Like Assad's use of Syria's military has been about creating security. Talk about being delusional.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-04-13 05:54

      So now Fidel has become our military stratagist. ANYTHING to prop up a DICTATOR/TYRANT/MASS MURDERER !!!! The Syrian government is ILLIGITIMATE , and has no right to make any decisions !! The Internationla community , whose responsibility it is to protect the Syrian population from these murderous thugs, will tell this ,government' what to do They told the Syrian military to get OUT of residential areas End odf story !!!!!

      Fidel - 2012-04-13 08:59

      Delusional ad infinitum, have you no other adverbs. I haven't seen any agreement from the FSA that they will not re-occupy these towns or cities, so troops remaining prevents that.

      Fred - 2012-04-13 09:11

      In your distorted anti-social perspective. Like the Apartheid regime should have continued to occupy townships and kill anti-Apartheid demonstrators. Truly, you're way out there on the wrong end of what is really happening. It's almost laughable.

  • RosyndDacey - 2012-04-13 02:09

    There is not a chance in hell Assad is going to give in to the UN. It's the most foolish thought in fact, but a nice one. But in reality, it's just a silly dream. Dictators, Oppressors and Murderers DO NOT give up their sick warped disgusting game for "peace". Come ON.... If you want to see what is going on in Syria right NOW, STILL: go to these pages and prepare yourself for the most devastating acts you could ever imagine people could do to one another, to CHILDREN. It's the most unbelievable evil I have ever imagined:

  • RosyndDacey - 2012-04-13 02:10

    I rest my case. Peace talks and ceasefire, even me, being just some ordinary person living an ordinary life can see exactly what is going on. Children and innocent civilians are being SLAUGHTERED by a Murdering Regime under a sadistic murdering ruler being Assad. And what for? What is the reason for such an injustice? And these 'peacekeepers' think that peace talks are going to resolve and get through to these psychotic murderers????? Perhaps they should relook at some of the BIBLE accounts: King Solomon, had no mercy, Abraham, had no mercy, they were going to slaughter a child , a test from God, an Act of Faith on their part, but also it was in their WISDOM that a peaceful resolution came about. And it was NOT by peacetalks, it was by taking SEVERE action, at the cost of losing something dear. In my opinion, the UN or a Military Force needs to go in and take CONTROL of Assad and his Militia, like they did in Iraq. Where is Sudam now? What is the problem here, what has Syria got that the UN needs? It certainly must be something significant enough in order to NOT risk losing face with the Syrian Government. Again, I rest my case

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