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Syria ceasefire deal set to collapse

04-10-2012 15:33 BJT Special Report:Crisis in Syria |

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Tuesday's deadline for a full ceasefire in Syria looks set to fail, after the Syrian government demanded that opposition forces make UN-enforced pledges to end the violence. The plan was initially brokered by UN special envoy Kofi Annan, and agreed by all sides in the fighting. But with the violence continuing, and thousands of refugees sill streaming across the Turkish border, hopes are fading that the ceasefire will take effect as planned. Han Peng brings the latest.

The deadline is looming, but there's no sign of a halt to the violence.

Heavy clashes took place on the outskirts of Damascus, as well as central areas of Homs and Hama on Monday.

After initially agreeing to Kofi Annan's UN-backed peace deal, the Syrian government now says it will not withdraw its troops from cities, without written guarantees from armed rebels to surrender weapons. It also wants a formal pledge from other nations to stop arming gangs in the country.

Syrian lawmakers say the government's stance is out of consideration for public safety.

George Jabari, Syrian senator, said, "If government forces retreat from certain areas, the opposition groups will use this to rearm and threaten the safety of citizens."

But the call for written guarantees was slammed by the opposition, who branded it another trick by the government to buy time.

Luay Hossain, leader of Building the Syrian State, said, "The Syrian government always makes promises but never keeps them."

The government says opposition groups are refusing to sign a ceasefire guarantee because they want to gain a military advantage.

Syrian officials say government troops will still try to make a partial withdrawal by the deadline.

But Syria's neighbor Turkey says the ceasefire agreement is now void, and that a new stage in the conflict will begin from Tuesday.


Editor:Liu Fang |Source: CNTV.CN

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