HEADLINES: Refugees

Published On: Donate

With armed violence raging in Syria’s most populous city, thousands of frightened residents are seeking shelter in schools, mosques and public buildings. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and other national associations are registering about 300 displaced families a day who are in need of urgent assistance. In the 32 schools identified, between 250 and 350 people were packed inside while some 7000 people are taking refuge in university dormitories. There are estimates that some 200,000 people fled Aleppo and surrounding areas over the weekend. [UNHCR]

Jordan has been praised for welcoming tens of thousands of fleeing Syrians. The United Nations refugee agency has registered roughly 35,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan, but there are reported to be far more Syrian refugees along its borders, upward of 140,000 people. The latest round of violence has sent thousands more Syrians streaming to the Jordanian border, seeking help. Jordan has agreed to create camps to house the swelling numbers of refugees, including one camp already in the works in northern Jordan that could hold up to 113,000 people. But the crisis seems to have tested Jordanian officials’ patience, as Syrians report being turned away. A border policeman at the Amman airport confirmed that Syrians have been turned away from Jordan, especially young men. [LATimes]

A diplomatic drama erupted yesterday after Indonesia claimed Australia was about to sign a deal which would make it easier for asylum seekers to be rescued by the Australian navy in Indonesian waters. Indonesian Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said an agreement was imminent to allow the Australian navy into Indonesia’s search zone without having to ask permission. But the federal government said it had never discussed the proposal with Indonesia. The drama came as three more asylum boats arrived in Australian waters yesterday. [Herald Sun]

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