Security Council approves deployment of monitors for Aleppo evacuees

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Children and their parents gather around a fire to keep warm in the yard of a large warehouse in Jibreen, now used as a shelter for thousands of families who fled violence in eastern Aleppo. Photo: UNICEF/UN043357/Al-Issa

The UN Security Council approved the deployment of monitors on Monday, to oversee the "voluntary, safe and dignified passage" of evacuees from east Aleppo.

The resolution was passed unanimously, and demands that "all parties allow complete, immediate, unconditional" access for the UN and international partners, to ensure humanitarian assistance reaches those in need.

Andita Listyarini has more.

The resolution stresses that evacuations of the thousands who remain inside east Aleppo must be conducted in accordance with international law, and emphasizes that they "must be voluntary and to the final destination of their choice" for civilians fleeing the shattered city.

It asks the UN and others to monitor the evacuations and requests the UN chief to take "urgent steps to make arrangements" for the security of observers, as soon as possible.

The United States ambassador, Samantha Power, told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York, that she hoped the resolution would deter armed groups from preying on civilians as they left the city.

"It is our job as a UN community to ensure that those monitors get deployed urgently and that the risk that families who have lost literally everything, the risk that they undertake in route out of the besieged last part of east Aleppo, is mitigated by a deterrent presence."

Syria's ambassador to the UN told reporters that the resolution was designed to protect terrorists, not the Syrian people.

He claimed that terrorist fighters would be taking advantage of the evacuation to leave safely.

A Security Council resolution earlier in the month which would have mandated a seven-day ceasefire in Aleppo, was vetoed by permanent members Russia and China.

Andita Listyarini, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21″

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