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Jordan to deport dozens of Syrian refugees

Arab World Materials 30 August 2012 02:15
Jordan announced on Wednesday that it will deport dozens of Syrian refugees to their homeland, one day after violent clashes left several Syrians and Jordanian police forces injured.
Jordan to deport dozens of Syrian refugees

Jordan announced on Wednesday that it will deport dozens of Syrian refugees to their homeland, one day after violent clashes left several Syrians and Jordanian police forces injured, DPA reported.

In a press statement, Jordanian Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh said Amman is set to repatriate over 100 Syrians for their involvement in violent riots that erupted in the country's sole Syrian refugee camp during a protest over camp conditions.

Tarawneh stressed that the measure aims to "send a clear message to everyone ... that Jordan is a country of laws," adding that although Amman will continue to provide refuge status to Syrians fleeing the conflict, it will "apply the law to Jordanians and non-Jordanians alike," read the statement, published by the state-run Petra News Agency.

The Jordanian premier added that Amman is set to intensify security procedures at the so-called Zaatari refugee camp, which currently hosts some 22,000 Syrians - a number that is expected to climb to 80,000 by the end of the year.

Although Syria's neighbours have deported handfuls of refugees viewed as security threats, the move would mark the largest repatriation of Syrian nationals since the outbreak of the 18-month-old conflict.

Clashes broke out late Tuesday after Jordanian anti-riot forces dispersed a peaceful protest by camp residents over living conditions in the camp - a collection of tents in the desert outskirts of the border city of Mafraq - leaving 27 policemen and over 30 Syrians injured.

The incident came as the latest in rising tensions between Jordanian authorities and camp residents, who describe conditions in the desert camp as "unbearable."

On Monday, Jordan and the UN launched a 429-million-dollar joint appeal to continue refugee services and improve conditions within the Zaatari camp, a project that carries an estimated 150-million-dollar price tag.

Aid officials describe the amount as essential to help Jordan host the 180,000-strong refugee community, whose presence is projected to cost the country an additional 200 million dollars before the year's end.

Although Amman has underlined its desire to maintain its open border policy, officials warn that should the international community fail to meet the pledge, it will consider "other options" in its approach to the humanitarian crisis.

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