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Syrian opposition calls on Arab League to refer Assad to UN Security Council

Damascus, Sun, 22 Jan 2012 ANI

Damascus, Jan 22 (ANI): Syrian opposition leaders have formally called on the Arab League to refer President Bashar al-Assad to the UN Security Council.


The 22-member body, representing Arab states throughout the Middle East, will face an important moment of reckoning when its foreign ministers meet in Cairo to decide whether to extend the mandate of its observer contingent to Syria by a further month.


Ministers at the meeting will study a report filed by the mission's head, Gen Mustafa al-Dabi of Sudan, who is expected to argue that his team's presence has led to a significant reduction of violence in Syria.


Burhan Ghalioun, the head of the opposition Syrian National Council, has demanded that Gen Dabi's report should accuse the Assad regime of "war crimes" and "genocide," The Telegraph reports.


In a move that will further embarrass the League, Ghalioun has persuaded a number of observers to file to the opposition a separate report, which will be read out at a press conference after the ministers' meeting.


The opposition said that the intention of the rival report is to prevent Gen Dabi, who has been accused of being too accommodating to Assad, from allowing a whitewash.


It has also requested that the League shut down the mission and instead press the UN Security Council into imposing a no-fly zone over Syria and a security haven near its border with Turkey.


The Syrian opposition has argued that the observer mission has served to give Assad diplomatic cover to continue the bloody repression of the 10-month uprising against him, over the course of which more than 5,400 people have been killed. (ANI)


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