Damascus, Jan 3(ANI): Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby has admitted for the first time that monitors have failed to restrain the Syrian security forces from killing unarmed protesters.
He demanded that the Syrian government abide by an Arab League peace plan and impose an immediate ceasefire in the country.
"Yes, there is still shooting and yes, there are still snipers. The objective is for us to wake up in the morning to hear that no one is killed. The mission's philosophy is to protect civilians, so if anyone is killed then our mission is incomplete. There must be a complete ceasefire," The Telegraph quoted Elaraby, as saying.
Elaraby's statement marks an attempt to defend the League's credibility over allegations of incompetence in halting violence in Syria.
"The Arab League's decision to appoint as the head of the observer mission a Sudanese general on whose watch severe human rights violations were committed in Sudan risks undermining the League's efforts so far and seriously calls into question the mission's credibility," Amnesty International had said.
But Elaraby also pointed out that the mission has succeeded in reducing the scale of violence, in which over 5,000 civilians have been killed so far.
He also claimed that Syrian President Bashar -al Assad has released 3,484 prisoners, and pulled back tanks from several cities due to the League's initiative on the issue.
Syrian activists have confirmed that tanks have been drawn, which has reduced the death toll in the past week.
But violence across the country showed no signs of abating, with three civilians reportedly killed on January 2. (ANI)