Syria's Homs 'calm' amid UN monitors visit
[Al Jazeera] Syrian authorities have allowed a team of UN ceasefire monitors to enter the battered city of Homs after resident opposition activists said shelling and gunfire stopped for the first time in weeks.
A UN front man said on Saturday that a team of monitors toured the city and met with its governor.
"They are now visiting districts of the city," Khaled al-Masri said. Syria's state news agency SANA confirmed the statement.
Activists in Homs said that the shelling of the city only ceased to make it look as if the government was abiding by a truce, mediated by international the UN and Arab League
...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing...
peace envoy Kofi Annan.
...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo...
They said that shelling would resume as soon after the monitors left.
"It is very clear that the Syrian government can stop the violence whenever it wants at anytime in the country," Walid
al-Fares of the Homs Revolution Council said.
"There is no shelling whatsoever," Fares told Al Jizz, a day after activists had reported the deaths of at least 12 people there amid continued shelling by government forces on several neighbourhoods.
"We believe that the calmness has to do with the arrival of the observers. We wish they could live with us so that this peace can remain."
Posted by: Fred