UN Syria envoy De Mistura to step down

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United Nations (UN) envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura has announced he will step down at the end of November after more than four years in the key post as UN efforts to end the seven-year war show no sign of a breakthrough.

“I will myself be moving on as of the last week of November,”  he said Staffan de Mistura.

De Mistura affirmed that he was leaving for “purely personal reasons,” citing the need to give his family “a little bit of attention” after a long stint in the demanding post.

De Mistura will be traveling to Damascus next week to push for the creation of a committee to agree on a post-war constitution for Syria that would pave the way to elections.

According to the special envoy to Damascus, Syrian government is objecting to the UN-led effort to include civil society representatives, religious and tribal leaders, experts and women on the panel.

De Mistura said he hoped the committee will be up and running in November, before he leaves.

“I am not laying down the charge until the last hour of the last day of my mandate,” he noted.

The war in Syria which begun in 2011 as an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad has left more than 360,000 dead.