The Washington Post: U.N. monitors begin work in Syria
A team of six U.N. observers set up headquarters in Damascus on Monday and began reaching out to the Syrian government and its opponents, in hopes they could start healing the country’s violent divides.
The team is led by a Moroccan colonel named Ahmed Himmiche, and another 25 members are expected to arrive in the next few days, said a spokesman for U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan.
The team is set to monitor the implementation of a six-point peace plan proposed by Annan, accepted by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and backed by Syria’s allies Russia and China as well as Western governments who have called for Assad to step down. The Syrian foreign minister was due to arrive in China on Monday for meetings, according to Chinese news agencies.
According to a U.N. Security Council resolution passed Saturday, the monitors’ work is dependent on the maintenance of a cease-fire that went into effect April 12. Despite numerous reported violations of the terms of the agreement by both security forces and armed opponents of Assad, the daily death toll remains dramatically lower than it has been in recent months, when dozens of civilians, soldiers and rebels were killed almost daily.
FULL ARTICLE (The Washington Post)