United Nations Security Council Approves Plan to Monitor Aleppo Evacuations


The United Nations Security Council on Monday unanimously approved a plan to quickly send U.N. monitors to oversee evacuations from eastern Aleppo, which Syrian government forces are close to recapturing from rebels.

The vote by the 15-member council came after negotiators struck a deal with Russia, a Syrian government ally that had vetoed six previous similar resolutions. France, which drafted the proposal, agreed on the final wording on Sunday, calling it necessary to stop “mass atrocities.”

The resolution now goes before the full United Nations, which has not yet scheduled a vote. The resolution calls for “adequate, neutral monitoring and direct observations from the eastern districts” of the war-torn city.

During his final press conference as secretary-general last Friday, Ban Ki-moon focused on the bloodshed in the Syrian city, saying Aleppo is now a “synonym for hell.”

“We have collectively failed the people of Syria,” he said. “The carnage in Syria remains a gaping hole in the global conscience.”

Evacuations from eastern Aleppo, which was captured by rebels in 2012, and two rebel-held Shiite villages in northern Syria resumed Monday after delays with causes that included buses being set on fire, according to media reports.

Among those evacuated from Aleppo was Bana al-Abed, a 7-year-old girl who came to worldwide attention for tweeting about the plight of people in the besieged city, an aid official said.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Jane Onyanga-Omara