DAMASCUS — Guns fell silent across Syria on Saturday after a landmark UN-backed truce became effective, the first major truce in five years of civil war that have claimed more than 270,000 lives.
On the stroke of midnight, terminating ceased in rural areas around the capital and the devastated northern city of Aleppo, AFP reporters said, after a day of intense Russian air strikes on rebel bastions across the country.
Monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was quiet in the north of Latakia province and in the central provinces of Homs and Hama.
“I may be up late tonight and hope I won’t be wakened tomorrow by the sound of airplanes,” Mohammed Nohad, a resident of Aleppo’s southern rebel-held district of Al-Kalasseh, told AFP.
The nationwide cessation of hostilities would be the first pause in fighting since Syria’s civil war broke out five years ago.
UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said peace talks would resume on March 7 if the ceasefire holds and more aid is delivered — a key sticking point in negotiations for a truce.
But previous attempts to end the fighting have failed and Russia and the US, which back opposing sides in the fight, have warned that applying it on the ground will be difficult.
“I can’t hide the fact that I’m happy the war has stopped, even for a few minutes,” 24-year-old regime soldier Abdel Rahman Issa said from the battlefield Jobar area on the eastern outskirts of Damascus.
“If it continues like this, maybe we can go home.”
Analysts have also questioned whether it can be effective on Syria’s complex battlefields, as the truce allows fighting to continue with Islamic State and Al-Nusra Front jihadists.
There were intermittent clashes after the ceasefire began between pro-regime forces and both groups, the Observatory said, as well as fighting between jihadists and Kurdish forces.
Hoteliers asked to be sensitive against GBV
KATHMANDU- Stakeholders have called upon the hoteliers to remain more sensitive in order to reduce the gender-based violence (GBV) taking place in hotel sector.
During an interaction programme in Tarakeshwor Municipality in the capital city on Saturday, the speakers said that the hoteliers are expected to become more aware since more cases of rapes and violence against women take place in the hotels.
A large number of hoteliers attended the interaction programme organized as a part of the 16-day campaign against GBV.
On the occasion, lawmaker of Kathmandu Constituency No. 7 Ram Bir Manandhar said that partnership among all was needed to end GBV and argued that social networking sites were responsible for the increased cases of GBV in the recent times.
Likewise, Mayor of Tarakeshwor Municipality Rameshwor Bohora pointed out the need for cooperation with the police administration as well as massive public awareness programmes to end such ill practices rampant in the hotel business.
Also speaking at the programme, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of Balaju Metropolitan Police Circle Chiranjivi Koirala urged the hoteliers to keep the details of every new entrant in the hotels since hotels are used for the purpose of women’s trafficking.Follow @gorkhapost