United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon on Monday said that Syria needs to allow the U.N. observer mission unfettered access to the country, reports said.
The observers are being deployed in the country to oversee a shaky ceasefire between the Syrian government and opposition fighters. There were reports from local activists that the government shelled the opposition stronghold of Homs and carried out attacks in other cities.
Ban in remarks delivered in Beirut said, “It is the Syrian government’s responsibility to guarantee freedom of access, freedom of movement within the country,” The Associated Press reported. “They should be allowed to freely move to any places where they will be able to observe this cessation of violence.”
The Local Coordination Committees reported that at least 19 Syrians were killed, including two children and a woman, with reports of violence and clashes in Hama, Idlib, some suburbs in Damascus, and other areas.
Ban noted that the ceasefire is “very fragile” but said it is a necessity to keep it going to hold future talks.
The ceasefire is part of a plan that was drafted by the U.N.-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan, but since the government agreed to taking part in the mandate there have been persistent reports of violence throughout the country.
Syrian state television, citing an unnamed military source, claimed there have been “dozens of violations by terrorist groups” since military operations were halted.“The authorities will prevent these armed terrorist groups from continuing their criminal aggressions and acts of killings,” the source was quoted as saying.