Syria Ceasefire 'Set To Fail' As Assad Calls For Written Rebel Promise
Rebels in Syria have rejected calls from the government for written guarantees to end the year-long conflict and begin a United Nations mandated ceasefire, which now looks set to fail.
In its last-minute demand, President Bashar al-Assad's government called for written guarantees from the rebels to end violence and assurances from foreign states to stop funding and supplying the rebels.
The call came as violence between rebels and government forces rose ahead of the proposed ceasefire, due to start at 6am Tuesday morning, with over 180 people killed on Saturday and Sunday.
The peace plan, negotiated by U.N.-Arab Envoy Kofi Annan, now looks set to fail, with neither side committing to the proposed withdrawal of forces from urban areas.
The Syrian foreign ministry believes that without a written guarantee from the rebels, the government would only be giving time for the rebels to re-arm and re-organize themselves.
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"To say that Syria will pull back its forces from towns on April 10 is inaccurate, Kofi Annan having not yet presented written guarantees on the acceptance by armed terrorist groups of a halt to all violence," the BBC reported the Syrian foreign ministry spokesperson as saying.
On Monday, according to the BBC, a Turkish translator and two Syrians were wounded by shots fired into their Turkish refugee camp from across the border in Syria.
The shootings occured in the Killis refugee camp, which is just metres over the Syrian border.
Also Monday, a report by Human Rights Watch said Syrian security forces had summarily executed over 100 civilians and wounded or captured opposition fighters.
The report records more than a dozen incidents involving at least 101 victims since late 2011, many of them in March 2012, in which Syrians were killed in cold blood by security forces and pro-government militiamen, according to Reuters.
Elsewhere, Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem was in Russia, a crucial ally, to try and shore up crumbling international support for the regime.
U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan called for an immediate end to violence in Syria and appealed to the Assad regime to honor its commitments.
"This is a time when we must all urgently work towards a full cessation of hostilities, providing the space for humanitarian access and creating the conditions for a political process," he said.
The U.N. recently upped its estimates of those killed in the year-long conflict to 9,000, with aid groups and activists putting the figure closer to 10,000.
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