UNSC unanimously votes to observe the Aleppo evacuation

The United Nations Security Council unanimously called for UN officials and others to observe the evacuation of people form the last-held enclave in Aleppo and monitor the safety of civilians who remain in the city. The 15-member council overcame long-held divisions on the matter, that have pitted Russia and China against western powers over the Syrian conflict, to adopt a French-drafted resolution calling for the United Nations to “carry out adequate, neutral monitoring and direct observation on evacuations.”

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said it was hoped the presence of monitors would deter crimes against civilians as they leave Aleppo or against those who choose to stay in the city. Today’s resolution I think is significant in the sense that at least we now have the Council finally agreeing that people who want to leave eastern Aleppo should be able to be monitored by the United Nations, the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross), the Syrian Red Crescent and others. That with that presence there may be some deterrents of what happens along the journey out of eastern Aleppo,” said Power.

The recapture of the city of Aleppo by the Syrian military is considered to be President Bashar Assad’s greatest victory in the civil war, which has thus far claimed the lives of some half a million people and displaced some 11 million others, causing the severest humanitarian crisis since world war two.