A UNICEF employee measures the arm of a malnourished child in the besieged Syrian town of Madaya, as they assess the health situation of residents in January 2016
Geneva (AFP) - The UN chief said Monday a fragile Syria ceasefire was holding "by and large" despite "incidents" of fighting at the weekend, as a UN-backed taskforce was set to meet to evaluate accusations of breaches.
"As of now I can tell you that by and large the cessation of hostilities is holding even though we have experienced some incidents," United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told reporters in Geneva.
The taskforce monitoring the truce is "now trying to make sure that this does not spread any further and that this cessation of hostilities can continue."
That taskforce would meet at 3:00 pm (1400 GMT), the top UN envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, told AFP.
Ban said he had received a letter from a main Syrian opposition group "expressing concern" about violations but said containing them was the key, in part, to ensure continued delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged Syrians.
"It is absolutely important, crucial that the parties keep their promise" to hold off from fighting, Ban said, adding that the hope was to see the truce extended beyond two weeks.
The tenuous ceasefire, negotiated by Washington and Moscow and backed by the UN, entered its third day on Monday despite reports of violations on both sides.
The special international task force co-chaired by the United States and Russia last met on Saturday, just hours after the cessation of hostilities began.
It is one of several mechanisms in place to oversee and deal with violations of the agreement, which does not apply to territory held by the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front.
A range of operation centres around the world are collecting "information on infringements", de Mistura told reporters overnight to Saturday as the ceasefire began.
The halt in hostilities is expected to allow aid workers to deliver assistance to an extra 154,000 people living in besieged areas over the next five days.
De Mistura aims to relaunch stalled peace negotiations next Monday if the ceasefire lasts and more aid is delivered.
On Monday, the UN envoy said he remained optimistic that talks can begin on March 7 as planned "but of course it will depend how the ceasefire, the cessation of hostilities holds", as well as the delivery of humanitarian aid.