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Head of Arab League observer mission to Syria resigns

The 22-member group is considering renewing its mission to Syria amid escalating violence.

Anti-regime protesters in Syria cary the body of a man they claim was killed by government forces in Rastan, Homs.
Anti-regime protesters in Syria cary the body of a man they claim was killed by government forces in Rastan, Homs.
Image: STR/AP/Press Association Images

THE HEAD OF THE Arab League’s observer mission to Syria has resigned, according to League officials.

General Mohammed Ahmed Al-Dabi of Sudan’s resignation comes as the organisation considers a proposal to renew its mission and expand it to would include representatives from the United Nations.

China and Russia recently vetoed a UN Security Council resolution backing the Arab League’s peace plan for Syria which aimed to end ongoing violence in the state. The League’s observer mission was suspended last month as violence escalated in Syria.

The organisation had already suspended Syria’s membership of the League over the government’s refusal to enact the peace plan and to cease its violent crackdown against protesters. The observer mission was heavily criticised by Syrian activists for failing to stop the violence.

The UN has stopped issuing a count of the casualties killed in the Syrian crackdown because it is too difficult to verify figures. Its last estimate said that at least 5,400 people had died in the violence between March 2011 and January 2012.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has denied that the state’s security forces were ever ordered to target peaceful protesters or to kill demonstrators. Despite his government coming under increasing pressure from the international community to end the violence, the army has been targeting rebel strongholds in Homs and Zabadani.

Read: “They tied a detonator to my hand”: Stories from inside Syria >

Read more: Military official shot dead in Damascus >

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