Friday, September 30, 2022

Baghdad

UN praises Iraq’s efforts to support refugees in Al-Hol camp in Syria

 UN praises Iraq’s efforts to support refugees in Al-Hol camp in Syria

Al-Hol Camp in north-eastern Syria. Photo: the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI)

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – A high-level United Nations delegation, accompanied by the Chief of Iraq’s National Security Service, visited Al-Hol camp in north-eastern Syria, where they witnessed the horrible conditions of the miserable and sprawling complex of tents in the burning sun, which is the home of thousands of people for many years, according to a press statement issued by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

“Many people, particularly children, never asked to be part of this desperate situation with no end in sight. However, 50 percent of Al-Hol’s total population (currently about 56,000 individuals) is under the age of 12. They find themselves deprived of their rights, vulnerable and marginalized,” the Spokesperson of UNAMI, Samir Ghattas, explained in a press statement.

“A camp like Al-Hol fuels resentment and inspires terrorists, from breakout operations to large-scale attacks. If left unaddressed, the situation will inevitably impact the region and far beyond,” Ghattas elaborated.

“Keeping people in restricted and poor conditions ultimately creates greater protection and security risks than taking them back in a controlled manner,” the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, said.

“Iraq is demonstrating that responsible repatriations are possible, by finding dignified solutions anchored in the principles of both accountability and reintegration. The best and only durable solution is to control the situation, managing returns swiftly and decisively, in the spirit of partnership,” Hennis-Plasschaert added.

“Al-Hol is no place for children. The steps taken by the Government of Iraq are extremely important in the path to solutions. Action by other Member States with citizens in the camp is urgently needed.” the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, Imran Riza, mentioned in the UNAMI press statement.

“With the latest transfer on 1 June, over 2,500 Iraqis have been repatriated. But as thousands of Iraqis (around 28,000 Iraqi citizens in Al-Hol alone) are still out there, the Iraqi authorities do realize that they cannot stop here,” Ghattas explained in the UNAMI press statement.

“The UN commends Iraq for its courageous efforts, welcomes the hard work of Iraq’s High Committee on Repatriations, and stands ready to continue providing the required post-return humanitarian and protection assistance,” Ghattas clarified in the UNAMI press statement.