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U.N. prepares Syria observer mission

Friday, April 13, 2012 - 01:43

April 13 - The United Nations due to vote on observers mission to Syria to monitor a ceasefire amid reports of fighting near the Turkish border. Lindsey Parietti reports.

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The UN says the number of Syrian refugees crossing the border is falling, on the second day of the fragile ceasefire in Syria. But activists are reporting fighting between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces and rebels in Idlib, north west of Syria. Many refugees believe any truce will be shortlived. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED YOUNG SYRIAN REFUGEE SAYING: "We do not believe in the lies of Assad. We do not think he will silence the guns and set the Syrian people free." Ahmad Fawzi, the spokesman for U.N-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, says the ceasefire has been "relatively respected". But the UN wants to ensure it lasts. The UN Security Council is due to vote on sending a small advance team of 10 or so observers to monitor the ceasefire. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JOINT UNITED NATIONS-ARAB LEAGUE SPECIAL ENVOY KOFI ANNAN'S SPOKESPERSON, AHMAD FAWZI, SAYING: "The department of peacekeeping operations is working round the clock to find the necessary number of troops for the full observer mission eventually. At the moment we have the advance team standing by to board planes and to get themselves on the ground as soon as possible." As the international pressure mounts for Damascus to comply with the truce, opposition activists called for mass demonstrations after Friday prayers to test the return of peaceful protests. Lindsey Parietti, Reuters

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U.N. prepares Syria observer mission

Friday, April 13, 2012 - 01:43