Civilians must be safely evacuated from East Aleppo: Oxfam

Campaigns and Advocacy, Emergencies, Humanitarian Advocacy, Media Releases, News article written on the 15 Dec 2016

With the brief ceasefire in Aleppo having collapsed overnight and the planned evacuation of rebel fighters and civilians being paused, Oxfam is calling for civilians to be helped to flee to safety.

Airstrikes and the shelling of rebel-held areas resumed and Oxfam Australia’s Humanitarian Manager Meg Quartermaine said estimates were that somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 people remain trapped in East Aleppo.

“Civilians trapped in rebel-held areas should be guaranteed safe passage out of the city if they wish to leave,” Ms Quartermaine said.

“The government of Syria and its armed allies must ensure civilians who remain in besieged East Aleppo or have fled to government held areas are safe and their rights are respected.”

Oxfam’s Syria Crisis Response Manager, Andy Baker, said yesterday that Oxfam was deeply concerned at reports that dozens of civilians, including women and children, had been executed in formerly rebel-held areas of Aleppo by pro-government forces.

“There must be no reprisal attacks, arbitrary detention, extrajudicial executions or disappearances under any circumstances,” Mr Baker said.

Oxfam is calling for the Australian Government to resettle all of the 12,000 additional Syrian and Iraqi refugees by the first quarter or 2017.

The humanitarian organisation is maintaining generators powering the water pumping system in parts of Aleppo and has plans to send aid supplies when it is safe to do so.

Donations to the organisation’s Syria Crisis response can be made at or by calling 1800 034 034.

For interviews or more information, please contact Dylan Quinnell on 0450 668 350 or