“Stop killing your people.” That is the message from United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The UN says his crackdown has claimed more than 5,000 lives during a 10-month-old uprising.
Ban was speaking in Lebanon at a conference on democratic transitions in the Arab World.
‘Today, I say again to President Assad of Syria: Stop the violence. Stop killing your own people. The path of repression is a dead end. The lessons of the past year are eloquent and clear. The winds of change will not cease to blow. The flame ignited in Tunisia will not be dimmed,” Ban said.
Syrian media reported that an amnesty has been granted for ‘crimes’ committed during the uprising. It will run to the end of the month, covering army deserters and people held for having unauthorised weapons or violating laws on peaceful protest.
Amid talk of Arab military intervention in Syria, President Assad was seen in public with his family and supporters this week. But opponents say he is way out of touch with the real mood in the country.