13 Apr 2012

UN discusses how to monitor ceasefire in Syria

10:12 pm on 13 April 2012

The United Nations Security Council is discussing how to monitor further progress in the six-point international peace plan for Syria.

A draft UN resolution has outlined plans to send an advance mission to Syria to monitor compliance with a UN and Arab League-backed peace plan.

The draft, prepared by the United States, is expected to be voted on at the Security Council on Friday, with monitors arriving by early next week, the BBC reports.

Syria says it will accept the mission.

The ceasefire at the core of the peace plan, brokered by special envoy Kofi Annan, has been in place since Thursday morning and is largely being observed, but some clashes have been reported.

However, Mr Annan says Bashar al-Assad's government has not yet fulfilled all its commitments, with troops and heavy artillery weapons still deployed in urban areas.

The draft UN resolution calls on the Syrian government and opposition groups to comply with all aspects of Mr Annan's peace plan, including troop withdrawals and an end to "all armed violence in all its forms".

It threatens unspecified "further measures" if the Syrian government "does not implement its commitments".

The observers would monitor the ceasefire and check the Syrian army was withdrawing from population centres in accordance with the peace plan.

Security Council ambassadors - including Russia and China, who have vetoed previous resolutions - have all supported the idea of observers.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the onus is on the Syrian government to keep to its promise.