Saturday, 7 Rajab 1439 / 24 March 2018

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U.N. council to vote Monday on monitoring Aleppo evacuation

Senin 19 December 2016 16:17 WIB

Red: Reiny Dwinanda

The evacuation of Syrian city of Aleppo ground to a halt on Friday.

The evacuation of Syrian city of Aleppo ground to a halt on Friday.

Foto: AP

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, UNITEEED NATIONS -- The U.N. Security Council agreed on a draft resolution aimed at ensuring that U.N. officials can monitor evacuations from the Syrian city of Aleppo and will vote on the text on Monday, diplomats said after several hours of negotiations.

The council had been scheduled to vote on Sunday on a French draft, but Russia, an ally of the Syrian government in the civil war, circulated a rival text. Russia raised concerns about sending in U.N. officials unprepared to monitor the protection of civilians who remain in the last rebel-held area of eastern Aleppo, which has been under siege for years.

The evacuation ground to a halt on Friday after demands from pro-government forces that people also be moved out of two Shi'ite villages besieged by insurgents. Armed men burned five buses that were supposed to be used for an evacuation near Idlib on Sunday, holding up the renewed deal to allow thousands to leave eastern  Aleppo, where evacuees crammed into buses for hours, waiting to move.

French U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said the compromise text was based on the French draft and explained that the vote had been delayed until Monday because "given the importance of the text, some of us have preferred to report back to capitals."

The new draft asks U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "to take urgent steps to make arrangements, including security arrangements in consultation with interested parties, to allow the observation by the United Nations and other relevant institutions of the well-being of civilians ... inside the eastern districts of the city of Aleppo."

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, told reporters that the council expected to "vote unanimously for this text" at 9 a.m. (1400 GMT). Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters: "I think we have a good text." Churkin had earlier on Sunday said that Russia would veto the original French draft, which he described as "a disaster."

Russia, which has provided military backing to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's troops, has vetoed six Security Council resolutions on Syria since the war started in 2011. China joined Moscow in vetoing five resolutions. The draft resolution to be voted on asks the United Nations and other institutions "to carry out adequate, neutral monitoring and direct observation on evacuations from the eastern districts of Aleppo and other districts of the city."

It also "demands all parties to provide these monitors with safe, immediate and unimpeded access." Ban would report back on implementation of the resolution within five days of adoption, the draft said.

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