UN to send monitors to document Syria violation

The UN human rights office will send observers to Syria's neighboring countries to collect evidence and document atrocities in the strife-torn state, the deputy rights commissioner said Tuesday.

"We will be sending monitors for information collection and documentation of the violations and atrocities in the border areas in the neighboring countries later this week," said Kang Kyung-wha, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Kang was speaking during a UN Human Rights Council hearing on the situation in Syria.

On Monday, Paulo Pinheiro, who was leading a team of investigators dispatched by the council to probe violations in Syria, told a news conference that "a negotiated settlement is the only way" to stop the violence.

"An increase in militarization and the supply of arms are not the right response," he said, after presenting his report to the council.

Asked how he intended to bring about the dialogue, Pinheiro told the council Tuesday that "there is no magic solution."

"The most urgent ... is to support the ... process of mediation of Kofi Annan," he said.

"We need a patient mediation process to finish with this crisis," he added.

Annan, who is the international mediator on the Syrian crisis, said he expected a response from Damascus on Tuesday on proposals he presented to the Syrian regime to try to halt a year of bloodshed.

The former UN chief arrived in Turkey on Monday after failing to secure an accord in talks with President Bashar al-Assad aimed at ending the escalating violence that has killed thousands of people since March last year.

Pinheiro and his team had given Pillay a list of Syrian military and political officials suspected of crimes against humanity.

They said they had documented a widespread and systematic pattern of gross violations by Syrian forces, "in conditions of impunity,” since March 2011.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon

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