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    UN Chief Urges Syria Cease-Fire

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a news conference  in Putrajaya outside Kuala Lumpur March 22, 2012.
    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a news conference in Putrajaya outside Kuala Lumpur March 22, 2012.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the Security Council has sent a "clear" message in approving a non-binding document calling for the Syrian government and opposition to implement a plan to end the country's bloody conflict.

    Speaking in Malaysia, Ban said the Security Council called in "unmistakable terms" for an end to all violence and human-rights violations in Syria.

    "All the violence must stop," Ban declared. "And there should be a political negotiation, inclusive political negotiation for the resolution of this issue, in a way which can meet the aspiration of the Syrian people and also humanitarian access should be established.''

    The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says violence continued Thursday with government shelling and clashes with rebels in  Hama, as well as a deadly ambush by opposition forces in the southern province, Daraa.  Activists also reported government troops killing one person and wounding dozens of others in an assault near the Turkish border.

    Annan proposal


    The council has approved a so-called "presidential statement" threatening Syria with unspecified "further steps" if international envoy Kofi Annan's six-point peace proposal is rejected.  The plan calls for a cease-fire, political dialogue between the government and opposition, and access for humanitarian aid agencies.

    The text of the French-drafted document, obtained earlier by VOA, gives "full support" to Annan's efforts to bring an "immediate end to all violence and human rights violations" in Syria.

    Clinton warning

    In Washington Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commended the Security Council for its "strong statement" on Syria and warned President Bashar al-Assad's government to comply.

    "To President Assad and his regime, we say, along with the rest of the international community, take this path, commit to it or face increasing pressure and isolation," Clinton urged.

    She encouraged all Syrians to work toward "immediate implementation" of the plan.

    Russia and China had previously used their Security Council vetoes to block two Western- and Arab-drafted resolutions that would have condemned Assad's deadly crackdown on a year-long opposition uprising.

    Arms trade

    Also Wednesday, U.S., British and French diplomats at the U.N. accused Iran of smuggling weapons to Syria's government.  Tehran and Damascus have denied charges of conducting an arms trade.

    Note: VOA has revised its figures based on information complied by UNOSAT, which is using Syrianshuhada.com as a source. This change reflects a shift in the numbers. Because of the difficulty of monitoring and reporting, these numbers can not be independe
    Note: VOA has revised its figures based on information complied by UNOSAT, which is using Syrianshuhada.com as a source. This change reflects a shift in the numbers. Because of the difficulty of monitoring and reporting, these numbers can not be independe
    The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 21 civilians were killed Wednesday in Syria, the majority in government shelling on towns in central Homs province.

    Meanwhile, an al-Qaida-inspired Islamist group, the Al-Nusra Front to Protect the Levant, claimed responsibility for deadly twin suicide car bombings Saturday that targeted security buildings in Damascus, killing 27 people.  

    The United Nations says at least 8,000 people have been killed in the Assad government's violent crackdown on the revolt, which began with peaceful protests and became increasingly militarized as army defectors attacked pro-Assad troops who assaulted civilians.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Tomas
    March 26, 2012 4:19 AM
    Mr Secretary General, the Cease Fire is not going to work despite all the cease fire messages - please have your back up plan ready because the time for talking has already passed the "sell by date" and people are loosing their live daily.

    by: ahmanutjob
    March 23, 2012 10:41 AM
    You just wait you mean americans we will be putting atomic warheads on shabby 3 missiles, We just hope they don't fall over on launch pad, Hell maybe you not need to bomb us maybe we bomb ourselves.

    by: Vladislav
    March 22, 2012 7:34 PM
    What really would change if Assad is gone? Most probably nothing, as is the case in Lybia. One set of opressors would replace another. The main problem is the brutal local mentality requiring constant bloodshed. Western involvement would not achieve what they want. It is interesting to listen senator McCain when he speaks about Syria but he is out of touch with reality.

    by: Mike
    March 22, 2012 7:16 AM
    I really wish strong words and resolutions could stop the violence in Syria and all over the world, but we live in a world of sinners most of whom only respond to the aggressive use of force which only a precious few, including America, even under Obama, are willing to use. Who really cares about people...the U.N. with its "strong statements" or the U.S. with its agressive use of force?

    by: Sam
    March 22, 2012 5:23 AM
    Patrick, tell me, "what was done to the occupy wall street" demonstrators? And would the US government have sat down unconcerned if any of those demonstrators had guns on them?

    by: mahran
    March 22, 2012 4:26 AM
    stop support fanatic savages ganges in Syria they have been killing syrian people and the Syrian army only protect us from these fanatic ganges

    by: mahran
    March 22, 2012 4:25 AM
    stop support fanatic savages ganges in Syria they have been killing syrian people and the Syrian army only protect us from these fanatic ganges

    by: Patrick Purser
    March 22, 2012 4:07 AM
    This is exactly why the UN needs to be dissolved! It has no power in accomplishing anything, all they have done over the past couple of weeks is whine while 8000 people have lost their lives to a Dictator. So China and Russia say we can't interfer, I'm of the opinion that our pacifist president has no spine because he has alternatives, ie. 1) take the Dictator OUT, 2) shutting down our market to the Chinese which would cause them chaos, or 3) military occupation action. Grow some Obama!!!

    by: Realist
    March 22, 2012 3:38 AM
    Mr Secretary General I think the situation has gone way beyond your clear message to the Syrian Government Thousands of lives have been lost already please dont allow any further loss of lives to continue
    by sending more clear messages

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