OSCE to double Ukraine observer mission to 1,000
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is to roughly double the size of its observer mission in war-torn eastern Ukraine to up to 1,000 personnel, a spokeswoman for the security body told AFP Thursday.
"The decision was adopted today (by OSCE member states). The mission can now have a size of up to 1,000 according to the circumstances. The mandate was also extended to March 31, 2016," spokeswoman Mersiha Podzic said.
Last week the foreign ministers of Germany and Russia called for the mission by the Vienna-based OSCE to be increased from the current 452 to 1,000 observers and its mandate extended.
The ministers said more monitors were required to "efficiently monitor" the latest Ukraine ceasefire between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government troops in areas of Ukraine bordering Russia.
The current mission includes members from around 40 OSCE member states supported by local staff. Teams of monitors work on a shift basis to ensure ground presence 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
© 2015 AFP