Arabs take Syria crisis to UN

An Arab League team is to take the 10-month-old crisis in Syria to the UN Security Council, as activists said security forces launched an assault on a protest hub near the Syrian capital yesterday.

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay, meanwhile, said the United Nations could not keep track of the death toll in Syria’s unrest that has already cost more than 5,400 lives.

At the Cairo-based Arab League, the organisation’s chief Nabil al-Arabi said he and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani were to head to New York on Saturday to seek support for an Arab plan on Syria.

They are to “hold a meeting with the UN Security Council on Monday to seek ratification of the Arab League decision on Syria,” for President Bashar al-Assad to hand power to his deputy, Arabi said.

Arab League ministers last week urged Assad to delegate powers to his vice president and clear the way for a national unity government within two months, a plan which Damascus has ruled out as interference in its internal affairs.

On Thursday, there was no let-up in violence on the ground with activists reporting that troops were pressing a major assault on the central city of Hama, long a hotbed of resistance against the Assad regime.

It said at least four civilians, including a 14-year-old boy and a 58-year-old woman, both shot dead by security forces, and four soldiers were killed in violence across the country on Thursday.

According to diplomats at the United Nations, European and Arab governments are drafting a new text they hope to put to a vote in the Security Council early next week.

Source: The Daily Star

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