The UN Security Council will on Sunday vote on a French proposal aimed at ensuring that UN officials can monitor evacuations from besieged parts of the Syrian city of Aleppo and the protection of civilians who remain trapped there.
Thousands of trapped civilians in Aleppo have been waiting for evacuation to resume after the Syrian government forces suspended their operation on Friday to take complete control of the city that has been held by opposition fighters since 2012.
The draft text, seen by Reuters on Saturday, also "emphasises that the evacuations of civilians must be voluntary and to final destinations of their choice, and protection must be provided to all civilians who choose or who have been forced to be evacuated and those who opt to remain in their homes" with priority given to the wounded and most vulnerable.
French ambassador Francois Delattre added that the aim of the resolution is to avoid a tragedy like Srebrenica from unfolding again. Thousands of Bosnian men and boys were massacred in 1995 when Srebrenica fell to Bosnian Serb forces during the Balkan wars.
"Our goal through this resolution is to avoid another Srebrenica in this phase immediately following the military operations," Delattre told AFP.
The draft resolution would request UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to "quickly redeploy UN humanitarian staff already on the ground to carry out adequate, neutral monitoring, direct observation and to report on evacuations from besieged parts of Aleppo and protection of civilians inside Aleppo," according to a copy of the text obtained by AFP.
It asks Ban Ki-moon to deploy further staff if needed and demands that all parties provide the monitors with safe, immediate and unimpeded access. The draft also "demands that all parties allow complete, immediate, unconditional, safe and unhindered access for the United Nations and its implementing partners" through the most direct route throughout Syria.
It asks the UN secretary-general to report back to the council on the implementation of the resolution within five days of adoption.
The draft resolution also demands the protection of all doctors, medical workers, hospitals and ambulances following reports that Syrian forces had bombed all of the medical facilities in Aleppo. The text specifically mentions the need to protect the border hospitals of Atmeh, Darkoush, Bab al-Hawa and Bab al-Salamah, where many of the evacuees would be taken.