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UN Team to Join Syria

BEIRUT |, with agencies - March 18, 2012, 10h12
United Nations experts will accompany a Syrian government-led humanitarian mission, the second time UN personnel have visited protest sites this month, the organisation's humanitarian chief has said.

Valerie Amos said on Thursday to reporters that UN technical experts will join the Syrian mission, but she demanded the observers be given free access to restive cities.

Foreign experts will visit restive cities but will not have free access and will not be allowed into Idlib.

Accroding to Al-Jazeera, the delegation, which will visit Homs, Deraa and Hama, where thousands have been killed, falls short of an earlier offer of a joint assessment mission. It is not slated to visit Idlib, in the north, the most recent site of major clashes between the army and armed opposition.

Amos said the mission will start this weekend and also visit Tartous, Latakia, Aleppo, Deir al-Zor and rural areas around Damascus.

She said technical staff from the UN and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation would join the mission "and take the opportunity to gather information on the overall humanitarian situation and observe first-hand the conditions in various towns and cities".

But Amos stressed that it is increasingly vital that humanitarian organizations have unhindered access to civilians.
#Syria, #UN
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