AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
DAMASCUS: Major General Robert Mood, head of the UN observer mission in Syria, called on all sides to “stop the violence” upon his arrival in Damascus today.
“To achieve the success of the Kofi Annan plan, I call on all sides to stop violence and help us continue the cessation of armed violence,” Mood said. “We will work for the full implementation of the six-point Annan plan which the Syrian government agreed to. To achieve this, we now have 30 monitors on the ground, and in the coming days we will double this figure,” he said, adding that the number would “rapidly” increase to 300. The Norwegian peacekeeper’s arrival came as at least eight people were killed in violence across Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
A putative truce, which technically came into effect on April 12, has taken a daily battering. The European Union on Friday expressed concern about the persistent bloodshed in Syria, which has killed more than 9,000 people since March 2011, according to UN. Also on Friday, Amnesty International said it had received the names of 362 people reportedly killed in Syria since UN observers first deployed on April 16 to monitor the deal.
Perils ahead: Red Cross
GENEVA: Red Cross chief Jakob Kellenberger fears that UN-Arab envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan for Syria is “in danger,” according to an interview in the Swiss weekly Der Sonntag. “I place great hope in the six-point plan of Annan, which includes the UN mission tasked with monitoring the ceasefire,” Kellenberger told the paper. “I am also very aware that the plan is in danger.” Since the start of the government crackdown on protests in March last year, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross has visited Syria three times, and he met President Bashar al-Assad last September.