Syria Live Blog
Syria - Apr 25, 2012 - 13:53
Syrian opposition activists have accused the United Nations of "playing with Syrian lives" by dragging out the deployment of ceasefire monitors in the country.
Responding to the announcement that it will take another month to deploy 100 unarmed military observers to oversee a shaky April 12 truce agreement, most activists reacted with a mixture of anger and apathy.
"It takes them a month to arrive? Are they coming on horses?" said a resident from the city of Homs, which has endured sustained shelling by the army. He asked to be referred to only by the nickname 'Sami' for fear of arrest.
There are currently 15 monitors in Syria, visiting areastorn by a 13-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, whose government has responded to protests with gunfire and shelled central districts of opposition strongholds, saying it is fighting an "armed terrorist" revolt.
On Tuesday, UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told theSecurity Council, which has authorised 300 monitors to go to Syria, that it will take a month to deploy the first 100.
"After one month we will have maybe 1,000 or 2,000 people killed - it's ridiculous. How can the international community watch without moving quickly," said Mousab al-Hamadi, an opposition resident from Hama province, where activists say 31 people were killed on Monday when the army shelled and stormed the Arbaeen district of Hama city, a day after the monitors visited.
"When killing happens in Palestine, even though the United States is an ally of Israel, the whole international community presses Israel more than they have pressed the Assad regime," he said.
Walid Fares, an activist living in nearby Homs city, which has seen months of shelling, said that the United Nations was "playing with the lives of Syrians," by its slow progress to get monitors on the ground.
"This has just given the regime more time to kill us," he said over Skype. "We are being killed right now, we are not being killed in a month's time."