UN Envoy Firm on April 12 Deadline for Syria Cease-fire

Syrians gather near a crater from a tank shell in a neighborhood of the capital, Damascus, after a raid by Syrian troops killed several rebels and civilians, April 5, 2012.
Syrians gather near a crater from a tank shell in a neighborhood of the capital, Damascus, after a raid by Syrian troops killed several rebels and civilians, April 5, 2012.
Margaret Besheer

U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan told U.N. member states Thursday that April 12 remains a firm deadline for an end to violence in Syria. But he added that although the Syrian government has committed to halting its military action against rebels and in civilian populated areas, an “alarming” number of casualties and abuses continue.

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Annan told an informal meeting of the U.N. General Assembly that the Syrian government had accepted his six-point peace plan, which requires, first and foremost, a cessation of violence. He admitted to being  “impatient” for actions on commitments made.

Urgent point

Kofi Annan's Six-Point Peace Plan

  • A Syrian-led political process to address the aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people.
  • A U.N. supervised end to armed violence by all parties in Syria.
  • Timely humanitarian assistance in all areas affected by fighting.
  • Increasing the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained people.
  • Ensuring freedom of movement for journalists.
  • Respecting freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully.

“All points of the plan are crucial. But one is most urgent -- the need for cessation of violence," he said. "Clearly the violence is still continuing, alarming levels of casualties and other abuses continue to be reported daily. Military operations in civilian population centers have not stopped.”

Annan, who talked via a video link from Geneva, said the Syrian government has informed him its troops have partially withdrawn from the flashpoint towns of Idlib, Zabadani and Daraa.

But the envoy said far more reaching action is urgently required.

The government has agreed to stop all military action by April 10. Within 48 hours after the government fulfills that promise, the opposition is supposed to lay down its arms. Annan called on all parties to cease all forms of violence by 6 a.m. Damascus time on Thursday, April 12.

Ending abuses

“We must silence the tanks, helicopters, mortars, guns and stop all other forms of violence too - sexual abuse, torture, executions, abductions, destruction of homes, forced displacement and other abuses, including on children,” said Annan.

Earlier Thursday, the U.N. Security Council adopted what is known as a Presidential Statement. In it, the council threw its support behind the April 10 deadline for a Syrian troop withdrawal followed by the opposition’s cessation of hostilities.

Summary of comments on Syria by world leaders

Alain Juppe French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe: "I think Bashar al-Assad is cheating us. He is pretending to accept Kofi Annan's six-point peace plan but at the same time he continues to use force."
Tayyip Erdogan Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan: "In not taking a decision, the U.N. Security Council has indirectly supported the oppression. To stand by with your hands and arms tied while the Syrian people are dying every day is to support the oppression."
Hillary Clinton U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: "We have to conclude that the regime is adding to its long list of broken promises...And we cannot sit back and wait any longer."
Ban Ki Moon U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: "Despite the Syrian government's acceptance of the joint special envoy's (Kofi Annan's) plan of initial proposals to resolve the crisis, the violence and assaults in civilian areas have not stopped."

That cease-fire is to be monitored by a small force of unarmed U.N. observers. The Security Council said it would be willing to consider and authorize such a mission should circumstances permit.

Annan confirmed that a small technical team from the peacekeeping department has arrived in Damascus to discuss preparations.


“What we would need on the ground is a small, nimble United Nations presence," he said. "It would need to be deployed quickly with a broad and flexible mandate.”

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Diplomats have said it would comprise 200 to 250 monitors, perhaps pulled from nearby U.N. peacekeeping missions in Lebanon and the Golan Heights.

Annan cautioned that a halt to the violence is only a beginning, and must be quickly followed by a political dialogue that is comprehensive and inclusive.

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Comment Sorting
by: SDL
April 06, 2012 5:45 AM
The dictatorship must be throw down ,every humankind has the human right to refuse and fight against the autocracy domination under a family or one party.

by: Cha Cha Cohen
April 06, 2012 1:51 AM
The day people discarded religion and embraced Aethism, they have lost all their conscience! I would request everyone to dig down in to your own heart and mind, 'What is right?' And we all know the answer, because there is only one right answer and hundreds of wrong solutions!' Imagine God exists for once and what will be the consequence on the day of resurrection?

April 05, 2012 10:05 PM

by: Another Dave
April 05, 2012 9:53 PM
Lets also make April 12 the USA's deadline for ending corruption, political bickering, and lobbying (aka legal bribery) in USA.

by: zack
April 05, 2012 2:32 PM
You got to be kidding me, what does it take for us to do somthing , Maybe 1000 killed everyday a million ?

by: Cindy
April 05, 2012 10:56 AM
this is a really good artical.

by: Dave
April 05, 2012 10:01 AM
the US keeps pushing back the daedline, they know we are bluffing. My God whats it going to take to open their eyes?

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