Syria to start withdrawing soldiers from civillian areas

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Protests in Syria

The Syrian government says it will begin  withdrawing its troops from civilian areas in line with the peace plan drawn by the joint UN and Arab League Special Envoy Kofi Annan.

The troop withdrawal is to start in the cities of Daraa, Idlib and Zabadani.

A complete troop withdrawal is expected to be completed by April 10, to be followed by a 48 hour period of complete cessation of violence and hostilities by both government and opposition forces.

The special envoy has proposed the deployment of a UN mandated mission to supervise and monitor the cessation of fighting.

Ahmad Fawzi is a spokesperson for the joint UN and Arab League Envoy on Syria.

"What we expect on the 10th of April is that the Syrian government will have completed the withdrawal of military units, from populated centers, that it will have stopped moving any military units into cities and that we begin a 48 hour period during which there will be a complete cessation of all forms of violence by all parties. We are receiving positive signal from the opposition that once the government abides by the 10th of April deadline they too will lay down their arms. We will start deploying incrementally those troops that are ready to move in will move in. You need a Security Council resolution to deploy the full mission. At the moment the team that is going in is a planning team."

Mr Annan is today expected to brief the UN General Assembly on the progress of his mission in Syria.

Duration 50″


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