* Annan told UN Syria hasn't fully met truce terms
* Russian envoy hopes for vote on resolution Friday
* Unclear if Russia, China will like U.S. draft text
By Louis Charbonneau and Michelle Nichols
UNITED NATIONS, April 12 The U.N. Security
Council moved quickly on Thursday in an effort to honor a
request from international Syria mediator Kofi Annan to
authorize the deployment of a U.N. truce-monitoring force to
prevent a fragile ceasefire from collapsing.
Diplomats on the 15-nation council gathered behind closed
doors to discuss a U.S.-drafted resolution to authorize an
initial deployment of up to 30 unarmed observers to Syria.
A fragile U.N.-backed ceasefire aimed at halting more than a
year of bloodshed in Syria appeared to be holding on Thursday
but there were no signs that President Bashar al-Assad was
pulling his forces out of restive cities.
Annan, the joint U.N.-Arab League envoy, told the council
earlier on Thursday that Syria has not fully complied with his
six-point peace plan and called for the swift deployment of a
U.N. observer force to the country, U.S. Ambassador to the
United Nations Susan Rice said.
The 2-page draft, obtained by Reuters, would have the
15-nation council say Damascus must "ensure full and unimpeded
freedom of movement throughout Syria for all (observer) mission
personnel, including access, without prior notice, to any place
or establishment that the mission deems necessary."
The draft also would have the council condemn "widespread,
systematic, and gross violations of human rights ... by the
Syrian authorities (and urge that) those responsible for human
rights violations shall be held accountable."
It was not immediately clear how Moscow and Beijing viewed
the U.S. text. Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said
earlier that he hoped a resolution could be passed on Friday.
"The full-fledged mission will take some time to deploy ...
If we are able to put 20 or 30 monitors (there) early next week,
very good," Churkin said. "If we are able to put more in the
next few days, that's even better."
Russia and China, which have twice vetoed council
resolutions condemning Assad's 13-month assault on
anti-government protesters but are strong supporters of Annan's
peace efforts, urged Damascus and the opposition to meet all the
terms and conditions of Annan's plan, including withdrawing
Annan told council members that the precarious truce needed
support and called for the early arrival of a first wave of
unarmed observers to monitor implementation of his six-point
peace plan, to be followed by a second wave of observers.
"Mr. Annan confirmed that what has happened today does not
constitute full compliance by the Syrian government ... as
Syrian forces and weapons remain in and around population
centers," said Rice, the Security Council president for April.
"He emphasized that Syrian troops and armor must return to
their barracks immediately," she told reporters after a
closed-door council meeting Annan addressed via video link from
The U.S. draft resolution would echo those demands on the
Syrian government and threaten it with unidentified "further
measures" if it fails to comply. Most of the demands in the
draft are aimed at the government, not the opposition, something
that could irritate Russia and China.
Syrian U.N. envoy Bashar Ja'afari complained that "eight
violations took place this morning by the armed (rebel) groups."
He also dismissed the idea that Syria was not fully adhering
to the former U.N. secretary-general's plan. "We have already
complied," he said, a d ding that others inside the country and
abroad should comply with Annan's peace plan as well.
He was especially critical of Turkey, Qatar and Saudi
Arabia, which have been voicing support for the opposition.
Annan's six-point plan calls for a ceasefire by Syrian armed
forces and rebels, the withdrawal of troops and heavy weapons,
and dialogue between the government and opposition aimed at a
"political transition" for the country.
Annan has called for the eventual deployment of 200 to 250
unarmed U.N.-mandated observers to monitor the ceasefire.
Syrian forces have killed more than 9,000 people in the past
year, according to a U.N. estimate. Damascus says rebels have
killed more than 2,600 soldiers and security personnel.