12/20/2016, 09.44
SYRIA - UN
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UN Security Council unanimously approves deployment of observers to Aleppo

“Immediate" deployment to monitor evacuation. From December 15, at least 14 thousand people have fled the eastern sector. Damascus, however, must still rule on resolution. The UN special envoy for Syria announces a new meeting in Geneva on 8 February.

 

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - After months of stalemate and vetoes, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution that has sent "immediately" of UN observers in Aleppo, to monitor the evacuation of eastern sector. From 15 December at least 14 thousand people have left the area, although violence and clashes have disrupted evacuations on several occasions and shaken the agreement brokered by Russia and Turkey.

It also includes the evacuation of some areas - including the Fuaa and Kafrya - controlled by the government in Idlib province, long under siege by rebel groups and jihadists.

There has been no official reaction from the Syrian government on whether Damascus will authorize the entry of UN observers in the city, divided in two for more than four years: the west, home to 1.2 million people, under government control; the east, with about 250 thousand people, in the hands of rebel groups and jihadist groups.

Yesterday's vote at the UN was given the green light by Russia, along with Iran, an ally of Damascus. International observers will be given the task of supervising the evacuation operations and ensuring the safety of civilians.

The "unanimous" adoption of resolution 2328 also marks the first step in a perspective of unity after months of clashes between the world powers in the Security Council, in particular between Moscow and the Western bloc. Divisions and conflicting interests that have exacerbated the toll of a conflict which, in five years, has caused more than 310 thousand deaths.

The text provides for a "proper and neutral monitoring" of operations. However, Bashar Jaafari, Syria's UN representative has criticized members stating that they pursue an agenda that aims to "legitimize foreign interference, overthrowing the legitimate government forces and using military force."

Damascus’ official response to the UN resolution remains to be seen.

According to reports from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at the moment there are still 7 thousand people trapped in eastern Aleppo in the hands of the opposition. There the living conditions are very difficult: there is no food or basic necessities, medicines are scarce and all hospital and health care facilities are unusable.

Yesterday’s evacuees included 47 children trapped in an orphanage. Some of them, says UNICEF, appeared in critical condition due to injuries and dehydration.

After leaving Aleppo east, the displaced will be conducted to other areas of the northern metropolis of Syria, the former economic and commercial capital, and in the towns of the province of Idlib under rebel control.

Meanwhile, the UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura announced a new meeting between the opposing factions involved in the Syrian conflict for 8 February in Geneva. So far, there have already been three rounds of "indirect" talks under the aegis of the United Nations, each time ending in a stalemate. Unresolved issues include the role of President Bashar al-Assad in the future transitional government.

 

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