Syria, Refugees’ Plight and Global Implications

The world is witnessing the largest movements of refugees since World War II with most movements coming from Syria as a result of the ongoing crisis which started in the first quarter of 2011 triggered by Arab spring. 12 million Syrians have been displaced ever since; Jordanese King Abdullah II during 70th United Nations General Assembly Global Goals Summit in New York City reveals that Syrian refugees make up 20% of Jordan’s population. Syrian crisis; a forgotten crisis that took the drowning of Alan Kurdi to be remembered.

Death toll from Syrian crisis reaches 220,000 as of March 2015 from a figure of 90,000 in June 2013 (United Nations).

While the world reacts to Syrian crisis on several media platforms, universal empathy in reality is questioned: Protesters attacked a bus transporting Iraqi refugees with fireworks and stones in Lahti, Finland; a Hungarian camera woman was captured on video kicking migrants seeking entrance into Hungary; Hungarian government erects razor wire fence to restrict movements of refugees fleeing from persecutions; refugees living in sympathetic conditions in Calais jungle, only  few European countries including Germany and Sweden that welcomed refugees with open arms.

Rwandan president Paul Kagame at the Global Goals summit in U.S. addressed the biased nature of international refugee law which he said was formulated to favour developed countries over developing countries as developing countries are left with the burden to host refugees.

Get your facts right, 95% of Syrian refugees are hosted in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt and not in Europe as it is widely believed (Conrad Hackett via Amnesty U.S.A.), Oxfam International confirms that the response to refugee crisis by rich countries is poor.

Syrian crisis has been handled with kid gloves for way too long with more focus diverted to President Bashar Al Assad than resolving Syrian crisis. Russian President Vladir Putin in a recent interview on 60 minutes on CBS News makes it clear that Russia will work to safeguard President Bashar Al Assad which he stated as the only feasible way to end Syrian crisis and not getting rid of him as U.S. is planning to, he also accused U.S. of turning countries into abodes for terrorists through their military intervention. U.S. on the other hand is concerned about the growing presence of Russia in Syria and their recent supply of arms to Syria.

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad in an interview with a Russian media house refers to the west as hypocrite, crying for the refugees with one eye and aiming at them with a machine gun with the other. If the west is concerned about the refugees, it should stop supporting terrorism. President Bashar Al Assad also accused Turkey of providing Al Nusra and ISIS with arms, finance, and weapons.

Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan at the 3rd international Ombud-Sman symposium reminds the west to resolve Syrian crisis fast as he told them to realise that the peace of all Westerners also depends on the incidents occurring in Middle East.

Countries are coming up with donations and aid to assist Syrian refugees. U.S. provided more than $4.5 billion in humanitarian aid to meet the needs of those impacted by the Syrian conflict, increased number of refugees to be resettled to 100,000 per year for the next two years. Japan offers $810 million to support fleeing refugees from Syria and Iraq. European home affairs to relocate 120,000 refugees from Greece, Italy and other member states affected by the crisis and relocate 160,000 people in clear need of international protection in the coming two years. U.K. Prime Minister Cameron in Lebanon announces 1 billion pounds in U.K. AID for refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and turkey and education support for refugees in Lebanon with extra 10 million pounds a year for the next 3 years.

U.S. senator John Lewis said: “War is messy, it is bloody; it destroys the hopes, the aspirations, and the dreams of the people…the people around are sick and tired of war and violence. We don’t need more bombs, missiles, and guns. Too many are suffering, and so many are desperate for a chance at peace.”

No amount of humanitarian aid and donations can take the place of peace. A political will and diplomatic efforts should be engaged to bridge differences between the warring groups and primary goal of any external interference should be to achieve peace and stability in Syria and not to turn it to a battleground for nations to express their superiority.

 

Written by Safriat Yussuf

Safriat Yussuf

Safriat Yussuff is a Construction Technologist by profession, writer and an advocate by passion, she volunteers with Slum to School Africa, a task force member of the Rabat-Conakry commitment, and a Climate Tracker for the adopt a negotiator programme who blogs on foreign policy, politics, and current affairs from her twitter handle(@saymamaa).

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About Safriat Yussuf

Safriat Yussuff is a Construction Technologist by profession, writer and an advocate by passion, she volunteers with Slum to School Africa, a task force member of the Rabat-Conakry commitment, and a Climate Tracker for the adopt a negotiator programme who blogs on foreign policy, politics, and current affairs from her twitter handle(@saymamaa).

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