Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Two thirds of Rukban displaced refuse to return to regime-held areas: survey

Syrian Refugees | 2019-08-25 02:37:47
Two thirds of Rukban displaced refuse to return to regime-held areas: survey
 (Eqtsad)- More than two thirds of the Rukban camp's displaced have refused to go back to regime-held areas due to a survey made this week by a UN delegation and the Syrian Red Crescent, activists said.

The UN delegation has counted 2749 families during the five-day mission in the deserted camp along the Syria-Jordan border

Journalist Khaled Al-Ali says 20% of the displaced want to leave, while the rest refuses to go to regime-controlled areas. 

The families were promised to receive humanitarian aid convoys later this month, for those who want to stay.

The Rukban camp, that lies along the demilitarized berm between Jordan and Syria, is a completely arid remote area inhabited by 45,000 Syrian refugees since 2014.

Since January, batches of the camp's population has continued to move into areas controlled by the regime.

Ahmed Darbas al-Khaledi, head of the local council in Rukban camp, played down the importance of the visit. He said that about 25% of the population refused to take part in the questionnaire because of the lack of confidence in the motives of the visit.

Hunger and the spread of disease prompted a small proportion of those remaining in the camp to choose leaving to areas under the regime's control. 

As for the rest, they demanded of the delegation either a safe route to the north of Syria, or to provide periodical assistance to the area.

According to al-Khaledi, those who refused to leave did not receive a response to their demands from the UN delegation. This implies that the main purpose of the visit was to identify the names of those wishing to go to areas of the regime, with a Russian push, to dismantle the camp and force the United States to withdraw from the area.

Jordan has completely closed its border with Rukban camp since 2016, declaring the area a “military zone,” while Russia calls for the camp to be closed.

Eight years of war in Syria have killed 560,000 people and driven half the pre-war population of 22 million from their homes, including more than 6 million as refugees to neighbouring countries.

Reporting by Mustafa Mohamed

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