UN Security Council agrees to deploy Syria ceasefire monitors
The UN Security Council, in a rare unanimous decision on the Syrian conflict, voted Saturday to authorize the deployment of an advance team of 30 unarmed military personnel to monitor the ceasefire in Syria, DPA reported.
The deployment is the first step to monitor the shaky ceasefire, which went into effect on Thursday, and will be followed next week with the formation of the United Nations military observer mission in the country to ensure that after 13 months of deadly fighting the end of hostilities would be sustained.
The 15-nation council voted to adopt a resolution authorizing the immediate deployment of the first 30 unarmed military observers so they can begin communicating with Syrian parties and "to report on the implementation of a full cessation of armed violence in all its forms and by all parties."
Russia and China, which vetoed Western-backed council resolutions condemning human rights violations in Syria, joined the rest of the council members in backing the deployment of the observers.
The resolution was the first to be adopted without dissension among council members since the conflict began in March 2011.
The document called on the Syrian parties to "guarantee the safety of the mission and other United Nations personnel without prejudice to the freedom of movement and access."
It stressed that Syrian authorities bear the primary responsibility of ensuring the safety and free movement of UN personnel.
The resolution called for the full implementation of the six-point plan of UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, with the first step an end of hostilities to be followed with talks leading to a multi-party political system.
British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told the council following the vote that more than 10,000 people have been killed, 10,000 detained and more than 45,000 Syrians have fled the country.
"For more than a year, the Syrian regime murdered, tortured and detained innocent people," Grant said.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said, "It is essential that all sides quickly refrain from violence and begin talks for a broad-based political process."