Six Swiss observers to join UN Syria mission

Switzerland will send up to six unarmed military personnel to Syria as part of the advance United Nations observer mission to monitor the recent cease-fire.

This content was published on April 18, 2012 - 16:54

The Swiss government responded favourably on Wednesday to a request from the UN to participate in the observer team.

It will make available Swiss troops who are already on service in the UN Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) in the Middle East, headquartered in Jerusalem.

In its resolution of April 14, the UN Security Council decided to send an advance team for a future observer mission to monitor the cessation of violence in Syria.

In a statement, the Swiss foreign ministry said Switzerland had taken the decision to participate not only for humanitarian reasons.

“But because Switzerland has an interest from the economic, security and migration policy perspectives that Syria and the whole region can find lasting stability as quickly as possible in compliance with human rights and international law.”

To date, the crisis in Syria has claimed the lives of about 10,000 people, displaced more than one million within the country, and driven a further 45,000 out of the country as refugees.

Switzerland has regularly condemned acts of violence against civilians and appealed for respect for fundamental freedoms. In protest against unacceptable acts of violence, the Swiss ambassador in Damascus was recalled to Bern for consultations in August last year.

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