UN chief calls for ‘sustained pressure’ on Assad

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UN chief calls for ‘sustained pressure’ on Assad

DAMASCUS - UN chief Ban Ki-moon called on the Security Council Tuesday to put “sustained pressure” on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying he was “gravely concerned” about the rising death toll, a top aide said.

By (AFP)

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Published: Wed 20 Jun 2012, 12:13 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 2:41 PM

The head of the United Nations’ beleaguered observer mission, which has been struggling to shore up a ceasefire that was supposed to take effect from April 12, was to brief the council on the persistent violence which a human rights watchdog said claimed 36 more lives on Tuesday.

“The secretary general remains gravely concerned about the intensification of violence and rising death toll as well as continued human rights abuses and unmet humanitarian needs,” assistant secretary general Oscar Fernandez Taranco said.

“The secretary general has repeatedly underscored that the government of Syria bears primary responsibility to change course and fully implement” the peace plan brokered by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, Taranco said.

“A truly joint effort by the council, one that delivers unified and sustained pressure to demand compliance in full with the six-point plan is urgently needed,” he added.

“Otherwise we may be reaching reaching the day when it will be too late to stop the crisis spiralling out of control.”

Taranco told the Security Council the situation was “particularly alarming” in the flashpoint central city of Homs, where human rights monitors say some 1,000 families have been trapped in a bombardment by government forces of rebel fighters.

Syrian forces clashed with armed rebels before dawn in Homs where a soldier was killed amid “intermittent shelling” of several neighbourhoods, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

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