Confusion over disarming rebels

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Live blog: Syria violence deadline


In a statement earlier (1.49) Syria's foreign minister said Kofi Annan had said in a recent telephone call that a ceasefire in the country would be followed by disarming of the rebels.

If this is the case then it appears that Annan may not have told the opposition.

The Reuters wire is reporting that a spokesman for the rebels has denied that the issue of disarming has ever been raised with them by Annan.

Colonel Qassem Saad al-Deen, spokesman of the joint command of the Free Syrian Army inside Syria, also said the rebels will fight on if Assad does not pull back his troops and tanks from in and around cities by Thursday – in line with the peace plan.

The Western-backed opposition has also rejected the government's new conditions, whereby they would have to disarm for peace to be achieved.

A spokesman for the Syrian National Council, which is unpopular with many activists inside Syria who accuse it of pushing for foreign intervention, said that new conditions set by the Damascus regime for it to comply with were "unacceptable."

SNC spokeswoman Bassma Kodmani told reporters in Geneva that the conditions were "unacceptable by any standard."

"I do not see that they can be acceptable to the Kofi Annan mission," she added.

She added that Annan's plan "needs to be revisited" if there is no progress in implementing the ceasefire by Thursday.

Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 15:32

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