Arab League team in Syria to prepare monitoring

Sudanese general to head observers; rights group: more than 6,200 people including 100s of children have died in crackdown.

December 22, 2011 19:14
2 minute read.
Assad meets with Arab League ministerial team

Assad meets with Arab League ministerial team 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS/Sana Sana)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

CAIRO - An advance team from the Arab League arrived in Syria on Thursday ahead of deploying monitors who will assess whether Damascus is acting to end a bloody nine-month crackdown on protests against President Bashar Assad's rule, a League official said.

"We arrived in Damascus safely," Waguih Hanafy, a senior aide to Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby and who is traveling with the team, said by telephone from the Syrian capital.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Syrian launches offensive against rebel hotbed
US, France denounce ongoing killing in Syria

Meanwhile, a new report emerged that more than 6,200 people including hundreds of children have died in Syria's crackdown on an anti-government revolt.

The British-based Avaaz rights group said it had collected evidence of more than 6,237 deaths of civilians and security forces, 617 of them under torture. At least 400 of the dead were children, it added.

In Cairo, Sudanese General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa Dabi arrived for talks at the League headquarters to be briefed on his role in leading the 150-strong observer team that could be sent to Syria before the end of December, provided preparations go smoothly.

Syria agreed in November to an Arab plan demanding an end to fighting, the withdrawal of troops from residential areas, the release of prisoners and the start of a dialogue with the opposition. It balked for six weeks over letting in monitors.

In that time, the League imposed economic sanctions and threatened to escalate the matter to the UN Security Council, while the death toll has soared as Syria has turned its troops and tanks against demonstrators.

It finally signed a protocol on monitors on Monday.

Dabi, who coordinated between Sudan's government and international peacekeepers there, told reporters at Cairo airport he would meet League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby to follow up on arrangements for the observer mission.

He said observers would work "with complete transparency to observe the situation in Syria", adding it would hold continuous meetings in the field with all factions, including the Syrian army, opposition, security forces and humanitarian groups.

League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby told Reuters on Tuesday that 150-strong observers would demand free access to hospitals, prisons and other sites across the country.

He also said the team would issue daily reports that would be shown to but not vetted by the Syrian authorities. Elaraby said the monitors could be in Syria before the end of December.

The advance team making preparations for the mission is led by top League official Samir Seif al-Yazal and comprises 11 people, including financial, administrative and legal experts, officials said.

"During our visit to Syria, we will work on some necessary arrangements to receive the mission on the ground, such as accommodation, transport, communications and security," Yazal said shortly before he flew out of Cairo.

Elaraby said monitors would need no more than a week from arrival to see whether Syria was abiding by the peace plan. He said 10 four-wheel drive vehicles were being sent from Iraq to Syria to help out the observers.

Click for full JPost coverage

Related Content

July 19, 2018
Sources close to Netanyahu: Trump knew the Iran nuclear deal was bad