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Chief of UN monitoring mission in Syria arrives in Damascus

April 29, 2012, 18:19 UTC+3
The core of the UN ceasefire observation mission will start arriving in Syria on Monday
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BEIRUT, April 29 (Itar-Tass) —— Norwegian Gen. Robert Mood has arrived in Damascus to take command of UN observers in Syria.

The veteran peacekeeper, 54, has worked in the Middle East before. He was a part of the UN force in Lebanon in the late 1980s and supervised the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) – the oldest peacekeeping mission formed in 1948 after the first Arab-Israeli war – in 2009-2011.

The core of the UN ceasefire observation mission will start arriving in Syria on Monday. Up to 300 unarmed monitors will be deployed. The mission spokesman told the media in Damascus on Monday that it was important to ensure the soonest and full end of violence by all the parties to the conflict.

Advanced teams of UN officers are already stationed in five Syrian districts, where anti-governmental unrest has occurred, - Homs, Hama, Deraa, Idlib and Damascus suburbs.

The spokesman said that the mission had just started working towards progress within the mandate it received from the UN Security Council. The mission will make reports to the UN New York headquarters every 15 days.

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