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U.N. observers committed to Syria mission

Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 01:20

April 19 - U.N. says monitors must stay in Syria until the job is done. Simon Hanna reports.

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UN and Syrian officials sign an agreement in Damascus that defines the terms of a ceasefire monitoring mission. The Syrian government and the UN had agreed a basis for a "protocol" on the deployment of more observers. A small advance team of peacekeepers have already arrived in the country earlier this week to monitor a ceasefire between government troops and opposition forces that began last Thursday. The head of the team says they will stay in the country until their mission is complete. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. COLONEL AHMAD HIMMICH, CHIEF OF THE INITIAL U.N. TEAM, SAYING: "We'll stay as long as we have to perform our tasks which has been mandated to us." While there are reports that the truce has held in some parts, the army has sustained a deadly assault on Homs, Hama, Idlib and Deraa, as well as other cities. Amateur video posted to the internet on Thursday appeared to show heavy shell and mortar attacks in Homs. The United Nations has said it wants to deploy up to 300 monitors to Syria, considering President Bashar al-Assad has not fully withdrawn troops and heavy weapons from towns, and has failed to send a "clear signal" about his commitment to peace. More than 10,000 people have been killed in 13 months of violence. Simon Hanna, Reuters

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U.N. observers committed to Syria mission

Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 01:20