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From the field: Syrian refugees in Lebanon risk their lives for medical treatment

Amnesty International - Sat, 03/01/2014 - 2:03am
Headline Title:  From the field: Syrian refugees in Lebanon risk their lives for medical treatment 12 March 2014

This is the first in a new series of dispatches about Amnesty International’s work on the ground, researching human rights crises around the world. For the latest updates on Syrian refugees in Lebanon, follow @CharCamille and @KDhala on Twitter. 

 

Syria’s enormous refugee crisis has been consistently described as the worst humanitarian crisis in a generation.

A recent announcement by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees gives a sense of the scale of the suffering – as of late February, more than 2.5 million people had fled across Syria’s borders to escape the conflict. This is more than a hundred-fold increase on the number of refugees two years ago. 

“LATEST: Syrian refugees 24.02.14 = 2,501,392 24.02.13 = 756,157 24.02.12 = 20,437 #Syria #childrenofsyria pic.twitter.com/uiaztQ3ZKH

— Andrew Harper (@And_Harper) February 24, 2014 

@Refugees: Syrians will soon replace Afghans as the world's largest refugee population - HC Guterres 2the @UN today http://t.co/FFpw1lCxR9

— Andrew Harper (@And_Harper) February 26, 2014

Half of those refugees are children. 

At the time of the UN announcement, researchers Charlotte Phillips and Khairunissa Dhala from Amnesty International’s Refugee and Migrants Rights team were visiting areas which host Syrian refugees including informal settlements in Lebanon. This country of 4.3 million people that shares a long land border with Syria has received almost 1 million refugees since the uprising began. An additional 50,000 are registered every month. 

In Beirut researching #SyrianRefugees. Over 50,000 refugees registered by #UNHCR in #Lebanon every month

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 24, 2014

Strain on resources

The total number of Syrian refugees in the country is expected to reach 1.5 million by the end of the year, putting immense additional strain on resources that are already tight.

Lebanon has already received 62% of the 1.5 million refugees predicted to arrive by end of 2014 #SyrianRefugees

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 24, 2014

To give just one example of how the crisis is stretching capacity in Lebanon, in Rafik Hariri hospital in Beirut, the health system is finding it difficult to keep up with the influx. More than half of the babies delivered there last year were to Syrian parents.

At Rafik Harir hospital. Health system strained by big number of Syrian refugees. Of 2852 babies delivered 2013, 1997 were Syrian. #beirut

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 24, 2014

Beirut’s Shatila refugee camp – set up for Palestinians in 1949 – houses hundreds of new refugees from Syria. They are considered among the poorest in the capital. There and elsewhere, the high costs of medical care mean that the UNHCR won’t cover treatment for chronic diseases, including cancer.

Refugees from #Syria in Chatila inc Palestinians that fled Syria are considered some of the poorest in Beirut

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) March 4, 2014

Treatment for chronic disease inc cancer are not covered 4 refugees by #UNHCR due to the high costs in #Lebanon

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) March 4, 2014

A #Syria'n man shows AI his medical reports. He has cancer & can't afford treatment in Leb. pic.twitter.com/YGlH8Evqso

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) March 4, 2014

also intvwed 27 year old #Syria 'n mother of 2 in Shatila. She has lymphoma cancer, but no treatment since arriving in Leb due to high cost.

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) March 4, 2014

Malnourishment – a ticking time bomb

The team visited eastern Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, the area of Lebanon with one of the highest concentration of Syrian refugees – nearly 300,000. Many of the makeshift refugee camps there – referred to as “informal tented settlements” – lack adequate access to even the most basic necessities, such safe water, hygiene and sanitation. 

moody skies in bekaa valley, #Lebanon. view from a mobile clinic at an 'informal tented settlement' #syrianrefugees pic.twitter.com/q6kvGq7iRv

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 27, 2014

a woman boils water outside her tent at an informal tented settlement, bekaa. #SyrianRefugees pic.twitter.com/KzpbmUS8Uy

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 28, 2014

Litter fills open streams in an 'informal tented settlement' in Bekaa. 500 #SyrianRefugees there pic.twitter.com/28n6AwbZDD

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 28, 2014

In addition to the strained resources and dire conditions, thousands of refugee children under 5 years of age are facing malnourishment in the camps. 

High energy biscuits in Bekaa Valley. UN says over 2000 #SyrianRefugees under 5yrs are malnourished there pic.twitter.com/MuU4115djn

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 26, 2014

UNICEF has called it a “silent, emerging threat” that has left children at risk of dying and in urgent need of immediate treatment to survive. In 2013, the rates of malnutrition were double what they were just a year earlier.

UNICEF say malnutrition is a silent emerging threat in lebanon. Severe acute malnutrition doubled in 2013 vs in 2012 pic.twitter.com/zp77nS3puW

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 26, 2014

primary health care centre in Bekaa, east Lebanon, where refugee children are weighed and measured for malnutrition pic.twitter.com/Kya7QIN3sX

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 26, 2014

Perilous trips back to Syria

Meanwhile, since many refugees with medical issues are strapped for cash they are simply unable to afford the high cost of treatment in Lebanon. Doctors told Amnesty International that many were repeatedly making the perilous trip back into Syria to receive care.

doctors tell AI that #SyrianRefugees are forced to go back to Syria for medical treatment because cost of treatment in Lebanon is too high

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 27, 2014

#SyrianRefugee shows pills. She needs kidney dialysis but too costly in Leb so goes to Syria 2x a week for treatment. pic.twitter.com/sPh0k2sKWT

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 28, 2014

10yr old boy AI spoke to in Bekaa with typhoid and blood disorder has been 2 Syria 3x since Jan for treatment.

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 28, 2014

His father will cont taking him to Syria and risk their lives as long as healthcare is unaffordable in #Lebanon

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 28, 2014

Some may have to go even farther afield to get the care they need. In Tripoli, in northern Lebanon, the team met a 12-year-old Syrian boy who suffers from infection and other complications after not receiving initial treatment for burns on his legs. His family is waiting to see if he can be sent to Europe to be treated. 

in tripoli, intvwd 12yr old syria 'n boy wth burns on legs. Not initially treated, led to complications and infections

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) March 5, 2014

now he is waiting to see if he can get medical care in Europe #SyrianRefugees

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) March 5, 2014

What needs to be done?

The UN says it needs to resettle some 30,000 Syrians in 2014. 

#resettle syrian refugees and invest in the future. The UN needs to resettle at least 30,000 Syrians in 2014 pic.twitter.com/ifYvYLCpjX

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 25, 2014

But with the total number of refugees from Syria in Lebanon due to skyrocket to 1.5 million by the end of the year, what will happen to the huge number who are still living in squalid conditions in the informal settlements in Bekaa Valley and elsewhere? 

A growing number of Syrians living in refugee camps in Lebanon are having to risk their lives to seek medical care.

Media Node:  Syrians living in refugee camps in Lebanon Twitter Tag:  Refugees Story Location:  Lebanon 34° 13' 30.3168" N, 35° 47' 56.22" E “Malnutrition is a new, silent threat among refugees in Lebanon, linked to poor hygiene, unsafe drinking water, diseases, lack of immunization, and improper feeding practices of young children.” Source:  UNICEF URL:  Syria: Yarmouk under siege - a horror story of war crimes, starvation and death Description:  News story/report, 10 March 2014 URL:  Freezing conditions, forgotten camps – refugees from Syria in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley Description:  Blog, 20 December 2013 URL:  Five things that will help Syrian refugees Description:  Blog, 26 September 2013 URL:  Welcoming Syria’s war-weary Description:  Blog, 4 September 2013

From the field: Syrian refugees in Lebanon risk their lives for medical treatment

Amnesty International - Sat, 03/01/2014 - 2:03am
Headline Title:  From the field: Syrian refugees in Lebanon risk their lives for medical treatment 12 March 2014

This is the first in a new series of dispatches about Amnesty International’s work on the ground, researching human rights crises around the world. For the latest updates on Syrian refugees in Lebanon, follow @CharCamille and @KDhala on Twitter. 

 

Syria’s enormous refugee crisis has been consistently described as the worst humanitarian crisis in a generation.

A recent announcement by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees gives a sense of the scale of the suffering – as of late February, more than 2.5 million people had fled across Syria’s borders to escape the conflict. This is more than a hundred-fold increase on the number of refugees two years ago. 

“LATEST: Syrian refugees 24.02.14 = 2,501,392 24.02.13 = 756,157 24.02.12 = 20,437 #Syria #childrenofsyria pic.twitter.com/uiaztQ3ZKH

— Andrew Harper (@And_Harper) February 24, 2014 

@Refugees: Syrians will soon replace Afghans as the world's largest refugee population - HC Guterres 2the @UN today http://t.co/FFpw1lCxR9

— Andrew Harper (@And_Harper) February 26, 2014

Half of those refugees are children. 

At the time of the UN announcement, researchers Charlotte Phillips and Khairunissa Dhala from Amnesty International’s Refugee and Migrants Rights team were visiting areas which host Syrian refugees including informal settlements in Lebanon. This country of 4.3 million people that shares a long land border with Syria has received almost 1 million refugees since the uprising began. An additional 50,000 are registered every month. 

In Beirut researching #SyrianRefugees. Over 50,000 refugees registered by #UNHCR in #Lebanon every month

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 24, 2014

Strain on resources

The total number of Syrian refugees in the country is expected to reach 1.5 million by the end of the year, putting immense additional strain on resources that are already tight.

Lebanon has already received 62% of the 1.5 million refugees predicted to arrive by end of 2014 #SyrianRefugees

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 24, 2014

To give just one example of how the crisis is stretching capacity in Lebanon, in Rafik Hariri hospital in Beirut, the health system is finding it difficult to keep up with the influx. More than half of the babies delivered there last year were to Syrian parents.

At Rafik Harir hospital. Health system strained by big number of Syrian refugees. Of 2852 babies delivered 2013, 1997 were Syrian. #beirut

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 24, 2014

Beirut’s Shatila refugee camp – set up for Palestinians in 1949 – houses hundreds of new refugees from Syria. They are considered among the poorest in the capital. There and elsewhere, the high costs of medical care mean that the UNHCR won’t cover treatment for chronic diseases, including cancer.

Refugees from #Syria in Chatila inc Palestinians that fled Syria are considered some of the poorest in Beirut

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) March 4, 2014

Treatment for chronic disease inc cancer are not covered 4 refugees by #UNHCR due to the high costs in #Lebanon

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) March 4, 2014

A #Syria'n man shows AI his medical reports. He has cancer & can't afford treatment in Leb. pic.twitter.com/YGlH8Evqso

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) March 4, 2014

also intvwed 27 year old #Syria 'n mother of 2 in Shatila. She has lymphoma cancer, but no treatment since arriving in Leb due to high cost.

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) March 4, 2014

Malnourishment – a ticking time bomb

The team visited eastern Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, the area of Lebanon with one of the highest concentration of Syrian refugees – nearly 300,000. Many of the makeshift refugee camps there – referred to as “informal tented settlements” – lack adequate access to even the most basic necessities, such safe water, hygiene and sanitation. 

moody skies in bekaa valley, #Lebanon. view from a mobile clinic at an 'informal tented settlement' #syrianrefugees pic.twitter.com/q6kvGq7iRv

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 27, 2014

a woman boils water outside her tent at an informal tented settlement, bekaa. #SyrianRefugees pic.twitter.com/KzpbmUS8Uy

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 28, 2014

Litter fills open streams in an 'informal tented settlement' in Bekaa. 500 #SyrianRefugees there pic.twitter.com/28n6AwbZDD

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 28, 2014

In addition to the strained resources and dire conditions, thousands of refugee children under 5 years of age are facing malnourishment in the camps. 

High energy biscuits in Bekaa Valley. UN says over 2000 #SyrianRefugees under 5yrs are malnourished there pic.twitter.com/MuU4115djn

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 26, 2014

UNICEF has called it a “silent, emerging threat” that has left children at risk of dying and in urgent need of immediate treatment to survive. In 2013, the rates of malnutrition were double what they were just a year earlier.

UNICEF say malnutrition is a silent emerging threat in lebanon. Severe acute malnutrition doubled in 2013 vs in 2012 pic.twitter.com/zp77nS3puW

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 26, 2014

primary health care centre in Bekaa, east Lebanon, where refugee children are weighed and measured for malnutrition pic.twitter.com/Kya7QIN3sX

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 26, 2014

Perilous trips back to Syria

Meanwhile, since many refugees with medical issues are strapped for cash they are simply unable to afford the high cost of treatment in Lebanon. Doctors told Amnesty International that many were repeatedly making the perilous trip back into Syria to receive care.

doctors tell AI that #SyrianRefugees are forced to go back to Syria for medical treatment because cost of treatment in Lebanon is too high

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 27, 2014

#SyrianRefugee shows pills. She needs kidney dialysis but too costly in Leb so goes to Syria 2x a week for treatment. pic.twitter.com/sPh0k2sKWT

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 28, 2014

10yr old boy AI spoke to in Bekaa with typhoid and blood disorder has been 2 Syria 3x since Jan for treatment.

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 28, 2014

His father will cont taking him to Syria and risk their lives as long as healthcare is unaffordable in #Lebanon

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 28, 2014

Some may have to go even farther afield to get the care they need. In Tripoli, in northern Lebanon, the team met a 12-year-old Syrian boy who suffers from infection and other complications after not receiving initial treatment for burns on his legs. His family is waiting to see if he can be sent to Europe to be treated. 

in tripoli, intvwd 12yr old syria 'n boy wth burns on legs. Not initially treated, led to complications and infections

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) March 5, 2014

now he is waiting to see if he can get medical care in Europe #SyrianRefugees

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) March 5, 2014

What needs to be done?

The UN says it needs to resettle some 30,000 Syrians in 2014. 

#resettle syrian refugees and invest in the future. The UN needs to resettle at least 30,000 Syrians in 2014 pic.twitter.com/ifYvYLCpjX

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 25, 2014

But with the total number of refugees from Syria in Lebanon due to skyrocket to 1.5 million by the end of the year, what will happen to the huge number who are still living in squalid conditions in the informal settlements in Bekaa Valley and elsewhere? 

A growing number of Syrians living in refugee camps in Lebanon are having to risk their lives to seek medical care.

Media Node:  Syrians living in refugee camps in Lebanon Twitter Tag:  Refugees Story Location:  Lebanon 34° 13' 30.3168" N, 35° 47' 56.22" E “Malnutrition is a new, silent threat among refugees in Lebanon, linked to poor hygiene, unsafe drinking water, diseases, lack of immunization, and improper feeding practices of young children.” Source:  UNICEF URL:  Syria: Yarmouk under siege - a horror story of war crimes, starvation and death Description:  News story/report, 10 March 2014 URL:  Freezing conditions, forgotten camps – refugees from Syria in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley Description:  Blog, 20 December 2013 URL:  Five things that will help Syrian refugees Description:  Blog, 26 September 2013 URL:  Welcoming Syria’s war-weary Description:  Blog, 4 September 2013

From the field: Syrian refugees in Lebanon risk their lives for medical treatment

Amnesty International - Sat, 03/01/2014 - 2:03am
Headline Title:  From the field: Syrian refugees in Lebanon risk their lives for medical treatment 12 March 2014

This is the first in a new series of dispatches about Amnesty International’s work on the ground, researching human rights crises around the world. For the latest updates on Syrian refugees in Lebanon, follow @CharCamille and @KDhala on Twitter. 

 

Syria’s enormous refugee crisis has been consistently described as the worst humanitarian crisis in a generation.

A recent announcement by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees gives a sense of the scale of the suffering – as of late February, more than 2.5 million people had fled across Syria’s borders to escape the conflict. This is more than a hundred-fold increase on the number of refugees two years ago. 

“LATEST: Syrian refugees 24.02.14 = 2,501,392 24.02.13 = 756,157 24.02.12 = 20,437 #Syria #childrenofsyria pic.twitter.com/uiaztQ3ZKH

— Andrew Harper (@And_Harper) February 24, 2014 

@Refugees: Syrians will soon replace Afghans as the world's largest refugee population - HC Guterres 2the @UN today http://t.co/FFpw1lCxR9

— Andrew Harper (@And_Harper) February 26, 2014

Half of those refugees are children. 

At the time of the UN announcement, researchers Charlotte Phillips and Khairunissa Dhala from Amnesty International’s Refugee and Migrants Rights team were visiting areas which host Syrian refugees including informal settlements in Lebanon. This country of 4.3 million people that shares a long land border with Syria has received almost 1 million refugees since the uprising began. An additional 50,000 are registered every month. 

In Beirut researching #SyrianRefugees. Over 50,000 refugees registered by #UNHCR in #Lebanon every month

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 24, 2014

Strain on resources

The total number of Syrian refugees in the country is expected to reach 1.5 million by the end of the year, putting immense additional strain on resources that are already tight.

Lebanon has already received 62% of the 1.5 million refugees predicted to arrive by end of 2014 #SyrianRefugees

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 24, 2014

To give just one example of how the crisis is stretching capacity in Lebanon, in Rafik Hariri hospital in Beirut, the health system is finding it difficult to keep up with the influx. More than half of the babies delivered there last year were to Syrian parents.

At Rafik Harir hospital. Health system strained by big number of Syrian refugees. Of 2852 babies delivered 2013, 1997 were Syrian. #beirut

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 24, 2014

Beirut’s Shatila refugee camp – set up for Palestinians in 1949 – houses hundreds of new refugees from Syria. They are considered among the poorest in the capital. There and elsewhere, the high costs of medical care mean that the UNHCR won’t cover treatment for chronic diseases, including cancer.

Refugees from #Syria in Chatila inc Palestinians that fled Syria are considered some of the poorest in Beirut

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) March 4, 2014

Treatment for chronic disease inc cancer are not covered 4 refugees by #UNHCR due to the high costs in #Lebanon

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) March 4, 2014

A #Syria'n man shows AI his medical reports. He has cancer & can't afford treatment in Leb. pic.twitter.com/YGlH8Evqso

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) March 4, 2014

also intvwed 27 year old #Syria 'n mother of 2 in Shatila. She has lymphoma cancer, but no treatment since arriving in Leb due to high cost.

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) March 4, 2014

Malnourishment – a ticking time bomb

The team visited eastern Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, the area of Lebanon with one of the highest concentration of Syrian refugees – nearly 300,000. Many of the makeshift refugee camps there – referred to as “informal tented settlements” – lack adequate access to even the most basic necessities, such safe water, hygiene and sanitation. 

moody skies in bekaa valley, #Lebanon. view from a mobile clinic at an 'informal tented settlement' #syrianrefugees pic.twitter.com/q6kvGq7iRv

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 27, 2014

a woman boils water outside her tent at an informal tented settlement, bekaa. #SyrianRefugees pic.twitter.com/KzpbmUS8Uy

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 28, 2014

Litter fills open streams in an 'informal tented settlement' in Bekaa. 500 #SyrianRefugees there pic.twitter.com/28n6AwbZDD

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 28, 2014

In addition to the strained resources and dire conditions, thousands of refugee children under 5 years of age are facing malnourishment in the camps. 

High energy biscuits in Bekaa Valley. UN says over 2000 #SyrianRefugees under 5yrs are malnourished there pic.twitter.com/MuU4115djn

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 26, 2014

UNICEF has called it a “silent, emerging threat” that has left children at risk of dying and in urgent need of immediate treatment to survive. In 2013, the rates of malnutrition were double what they were just a year earlier.

UNICEF say malnutrition is a silent emerging threat in lebanon. Severe acute malnutrition doubled in 2013 vs in 2012 pic.twitter.com/zp77nS3puW

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 26, 2014

primary health care centre in Bekaa, east Lebanon, where refugee children are weighed and measured for malnutrition pic.twitter.com/Kya7QIN3sX

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 26, 2014

Perilous trips back to Syria

Meanwhile, since many refugees with medical issues are strapped for cash they are simply unable to afford the high cost of treatment in Lebanon. Doctors told Amnesty International that many were repeatedly making the perilous trip back into Syria to receive care.

doctors tell AI that #SyrianRefugees are forced to go back to Syria for medical treatment because cost of treatment in Lebanon is too high

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 27, 2014

#SyrianRefugee shows pills. She needs kidney dialysis but too costly in Leb so goes to Syria 2x a week for treatment. pic.twitter.com/sPh0k2sKWT

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 28, 2014

10yr old boy AI spoke to in Bekaa with typhoid and blood disorder has been 2 Syria 3x since Jan for treatment.

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 28, 2014

His father will cont taking him to Syria and risk their lives as long as healthcare is unaffordable in #Lebanon

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 28, 2014

Some may have to go even farther afield to get the care they need. In Tripoli, in northern Lebanon, the team met a 12-year-old Syrian boy who suffers from infection and other complications after not receiving initial treatment for burns on his legs. His family is waiting to see if he can be sent to Europe to be treated. 

in tripoli, intvwd 12yr old syria 'n boy wth burns on legs. Not initially treated, led to complications and infections

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) March 5, 2014

now he is waiting to see if he can get medical care in Europe #SyrianRefugees

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) March 5, 2014

What needs to be done?

The UN says it needs to resettle some 30,000 Syrians in 2014. 

#resettle syrian refugees and invest in the future. The UN needs to resettle at least 30,000 Syrians in 2014 pic.twitter.com/ifYvYLCpjX

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 25, 2014

But with the total number of refugees from Syria in Lebanon due to skyrocket to 1.5 million by the end of the year, what will happen to the huge number who are still living in squalid conditions in the informal settlements in Bekaa Valley and elsewhere? 

A growing number of Syrians living in refugee camps in Lebanon are having to risk their lives to seek medical care.

Media Node:  Syrians living in refugee camps in Lebanon Twitter Tag:  Refugees Story Location:  Lebanon 34° 13' 30.3168" N, 35° 47' 56.22" E “Malnutrition is a new, silent threat among refugees in Lebanon, linked to poor hygiene, unsafe drinking water, diseases, lack of immunization, and improper feeding practices of young children.” Source:  UNICEF URL:  Syria: Yarmouk under siege - a horror story of war crimes, starvation and death Description:  News story/report, 10 March 2014 URL:  Freezing conditions, forgotten camps – refugees from Syria in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley Description:  Blog, 20 December 2013 URL:  Five things that will help Syrian refugees Description:  Blog, 26 September 2013 URL:  Welcoming Syria’s war-weary Description:  Blog, 4 September 2013

From the field: Syrian refugees in Lebanon risk their lives for medical treatment

Amnesty International - Sat, 03/01/2014 - 2:03am
Headline Title:  From the field: Syrian refugees in Lebanon risk their lives for medical treatment 12 March 2014

This is the first in a new series of dispatches about Amnesty International’s work on the ground, researching human rights crises around the world. For the latest updates on Syrian refugees in Lebanon, follow @CharCamille and @KDhala on Twitter. 

 

Syria’s enormous refugee crisis has been consistently described as the worst humanitarian crisis in a generation.

A recent announcement by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees gives a sense of the scale of the suffering – as of late February, more than 2.5 million people had fled across Syria’s borders to escape the conflict. This is more than a hundred-fold increase on the number of refugees two years ago. 

“LATEST: Syrian refugees 24.02.14 = 2,501,392 24.02.13 = 756,157 24.02.12 = 20,437 #Syria #childrenofsyria pic.twitter.com/uiaztQ3ZKH

— Andrew Harper (@And_Harper) February 24, 2014 

@Refugees: Syrians will soon replace Afghans as the world's largest refugee population - HC Guterres 2the @UN today http://t.co/FFpw1lCxR9

— Andrew Harper (@And_Harper) February 26, 2014

Half of those refugees are children. 

At the time of the UN announcement, researchers Charlotte Phillips and Khairunissa Dhala from Amnesty International’s Refugee and Migrants Rights team were visiting areas which host Syrian refugees including informal settlements in Lebanon. This country of 4.3 million people that shares a long land border with Syria has received almost 1 million refugees since the uprising began. An additional 50,000 are registered every month. 

In Beirut researching #SyrianRefugees. Over 50,000 refugees registered by #UNHCR in #Lebanon every month

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 24, 2014

Strain on resources

The total number of Syrian refugees in the country is expected to reach 1.5 million by the end of the year, putting immense additional strain on resources that are already tight.

Lebanon has already received 62% of the 1.5 million refugees predicted to arrive by end of 2014 #SyrianRefugees

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 24, 2014

To give just one example of how the crisis is stretching capacity in Lebanon, in Rafik Hariri hospital in Beirut, the health system is finding it difficult to keep up with the influx. More than half of the babies delivered there last year were to Syrian parents.

At Rafik Harir hospital. Health system strained by big number of Syrian refugees. Of 2852 babies delivered 2013, 1997 were Syrian. #beirut

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 24, 2014

Beirut’s Shatila refugee camp – set up for Palestinians in 1949 – houses hundreds of new refugees from Syria. They are considered among the poorest in the capital. There and elsewhere, the high costs of medical care mean that the UNHCR won’t cover treatment for chronic diseases, including cancer.

Refugees from #Syria in Chatila inc Palestinians that fled Syria are considered some of the poorest in Beirut

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) March 4, 2014

Treatment for chronic disease inc cancer are not covered 4 refugees by #UNHCR due to the high costs in #Lebanon

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) March 4, 2014

A #Syria'n man shows AI his medical reports. He has cancer & can't afford treatment in Leb. pic.twitter.com/YGlH8Evqso

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) March 4, 2014

also intvwed 27 year old #Syria 'n mother of 2 in Shatila. She has lymphoma cancer, but no treatment since arriving in Leb due to high cost.

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) March 4, 2014

Malnourishment – a ticking time bomb

The team visited eastern Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, the area of Lebanon with one of the highest concentration of Syrian refugees – nearly 300,000. Many of the makeshift refugee camps there – referred to as “informal tented settlements” – lack adequate access to even the most basic necessities, such safe water, hygiene and sanitation. 

moody skies in bekaa valley, #Lebanon. view from a mobile clinic at an 'informal tented settlement' #syrianrefugees pic.twitter.com/q6kvGq7iRv

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 27, 2014

a woman boils water outside her tent at an informal tented settlement, bekaa. #SyrianRefugees pic.twitter.com/KzpbmUS8Uy

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 28, 2014

Litter fills open streams in an 'informal tented settlement' in Bekaa. 500 #SyrianRefugees there pic.twitter.com/28n6AwbZDD

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 28, 2014

In addition to the strained resources and dire conditions, thousands of refugee children under 5 years of age are facing malnourishment in the camps. 

High energy biscuits in Bekaa Valley. UN says over 2000 #SyrianRefugees under 5yrs are malnourished there pic.twitter.com/MuU4115djn

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 26, 2014

UNICEF has called it a “silent, emerging threat” that has left children at risk of dying and in urgent need of immediate treatment to survive. In 2013, the rates of malnutrition were double what they were just a year earlier.

UNICEF say malnutrition is a silent emerging threat in lebanon. Severe acute malnutrition doubled in 2013 vs in 2012 pic.twitter.com/zp77nS3puW

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 26, 2014

primary health care centre in Bekaa, east Lebanon, where refugee children are weighed and measured for malnutrition pic.twitter.com/Kya7QIN3sX

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 26, 2014

Perilous trips back to Syria

Meanwhile, since many refugees with medical issues are strapped for cash they are simply unable to afford the high cost of treatment in Lebanon. Doctors told Amnesty International that many were repeatedly making the perilous trip back into Syria to receive care.

doctors tell AI that #SyrianRefugees are forced to go back to Syria for medical treatment because cost of treatment in Lebanon is too high

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 27, 2014

#SyrianRefugee shows pills. She needs kidney dialysis but too costly in Leb so goes to Syria 2x a week for treatment. pic.twitter.com/sPh0k2sKWT

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 28, 2014

10yr old boy AI spoke to in Bekaa with typhoid and blood disorder has been 2 Syria 3x since Jan for treatment.

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 28, 2014

His father will cont taking him to Syria and risk their lives as long as healthcare is unaffordable in #Lebanon

— Khairunissa Dhala (@KDhala) February 28, 2014

Some may have to go even farther afield to get the care they need. In Tripoli, in northern Lebanon, the team met a 12-year-old Syrian boy who suffers from infection and other complications after not receiving initial treatment for burns on his legs. His family is waiting to see if he can be sent to Europe to be treated. 

in tripoli, intvwd 12yr old syria 'n boy wth burns on legs. Not initially treated, led to complications and infections

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) March 5, 2014

now he is waiting to see if he can get medical care in Europe #SyrianRefugees

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) March 5, 2014

What needs to be done?

The UN says it needs to resettle some 30,000 Syrians in 2014. 

#resettle syrian refugees and invest in the future. The UN needs to resettle at least 30,000 Syrians in 2014 pic.twitter.com/ifYvYLCpjX

— Charlotte Phillips (@CharCamille) February 25, 2014

But with the total number of refugees from Syria in Lebanon due to skyrocket to 1.5 million by the end of the year, what will happen to the huge number who are still living in squalid conditions in the informal settlements in Bekaa Valley and elsewhere? 

A growing number of Syrians living in refugee camps in Lebanon are having to risk their lives to seek medical care.

Media Node:  Syrians living in refugee camps in Lebanon Twitter Tag:  Refugees Story Location:  Lebanon 34° 13' 30.3168" N, 35° 47' 56.22" E “Malnutrition is a new, silent threat among refugees in Lebanon, linked to poor hygiene, unsafe drinking water, diseases, lack of immunization, and improper feeding practices of young children.” Source:  UNICEF URL:  Syria: Yarmouk under siege - a horror story of war crimes, starvation and death Description:  News story/report, 10 March 2014 URL:  Freezing conditions, forgotten camps – refugees from Syria in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley Description:  Blog, 20 December 2013 URL:  Five things that will help Syrian refugees Description:  Blog, 26 September 2013 URL:  Welcoming Syria’s war-weary Description:  Blog, 4 September 2013

Two Members of Notorious Kehoe Family Plead to Weapons Charges

SPLC Hatewatch - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 2:58pm
A father-and-son team that’s fought the government, disregarded its laws and embraced violently white supremacist views for decades decided Friday not to take chances with an Arizona jury. Instead of going to trial on multiple federal charges, Kirby K. Kehoe, 65, and his 37-year-old son, Cheyne, struck plea deals with federal prosecutors, with each pleading […]

Neo-Nazi Pleads to Terrorizing as Leith, N.D., Takeover Drama Comes to a Close

SPLC Hatewatch - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 2:15pm
The part black and completely over the top white supremacist Craig Cobb pleaded guilty Thursday to menacing and terrorizing the residents of the tiny town of Leith, N.D., which he once hoped to buy up and turn into an all-Aryan enclave called “Cobbsville.” “I apologize for my behavior and I regret my actions,” Cobb told […]

Behind the ‘Religious Freedom’ Attacks on Gay Rights Lurks a Broad Attack on Civil Rights

SPLC Hatewatch - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:49am
While there was predictable outrage from many right-wing quarters this week over Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of S.B. 1062 — a bill that would have legalized discrimination against LGBT people on the basis of protecting the “religious freedom” of people who did not wish to do business with them — the overwhelming reaction by […]

CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis

Amnesty International - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:33am
Headline Title:  CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis 28 February 2014

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), said Amnesty International.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is expected to present his assessment report on the possible transformation of the African-led peacekeeping force in CAR into a UN peacekeeping mission before 5 March.

“It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director Research and Advocacy.

Amnesty International’s successive missions to CAR have revealed how the African led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) is under-resourced and ill equipped.  Its poor coordination with French troops (Sangaris) has failed to end the killings of civilians and the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim community from large parts of the country.

“Current efforts to tackle the crisis are far from adequate and the new UN mission must have the capability to tackle this crisis,” said Belay.

“We witnessed peacekeeping soldiers being deployed to areas where they had no idea of what was going on, or even where they were. Their morale was low, their equipment poor, and many complained they have not been paid for months.”

International promises to finance MISCA have yet to be fully met.

“Much of the money pledged to strengthen MISCA has not come through and there is an atmosphere of passing the buck in many of the international institutions.  Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of people continue to be internally displaced and thousands of Muslims are struggling to leave the country fearing for their lives.”

“The Security Council must take decisive action. This is a matter of the greatest urgency - every day counts. Hundreds of thousands of people are suffering. Saving people’s lives must prevail over politics,” said Belay.

The UN Secretary General presented a six-point initiative to the UNSC last week designed to strengthen existing operations. It includes a rapid reinforcement of the MISCA and French contingents with at least 3,000 more troops and police with a coordinated command and essential logistical and financial support for the African troops. It also proposes plans to improve the capacity of government institutions and to support the justice system. 

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic. 

Media Node:  CAR story Story Location:  République centrafricaine 6° 42' 58.3308" N, 19° 41' 22.2036" E “It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians. ” Source:  Netsanet Belay, Africa Director of Research and Advocacy at Amnesty International. URL:  Life in the midst of horror in the Central African Republic Description:  Feature, 18 February 2014 URL:  Central African Republic: Ethnic cleansing and sectarian killings Description:  News Story/Briefing, 12 February 2014. URL:  Counting bodies in the Central African Republic Description:  Blog, 12 February 2014. URL:  Central African Republic: More than 50 Muslims killed in two attacks Description:  News story, 24 January 2014.

CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis

Amnesty International - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:33am
Headline Title:  CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis 28 February 2014

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), said Amnesty International.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is expected to present his assessment report on the possible transformation of the African-led peacekeeping force in CAR into a UN peacekeeping mission before 5 March.

“It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director Research and Advocacy.

Amnesty International’s successive missions to CAR have revealed how the African led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) is under-resourced and ill equipped.  Its poor coordination with French troops (Sangaris) has failed to end the killings of civilians and the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim community from large parts of the country.

“Current efforts to tackle the crisis are far from adequate and the new UN mission must have the capability to tackle this crisis,” said Belay.

“We witnessed peacekeeping soldiers being deployed to areas where they had no idea of what was going on, or even where they were. Their morale was low, their equipment poor, and many complained they have not been paid for months.”

International promises to finance MISCA have yet to be fully met.

“Much of the money pledged to strengthen MISCA has not come through and there is an atmosphere of passing the buck in many of the international institutions.  Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of people continue to be internally displaced and thousands of Muslims are struggling to leave the country fearing for their lives.”

“The Security Council must take decisive action. This is a matter of the greatest urgency - every day counts. Hundreds of thousands of people are suffering. Saving people’s lives must prevail over politics,” said Belay.

The UN Secretary General presented a six-point initiative to the UNSC last week designed to strengthen existing operations. It includes a rapid reinforcement of the MISCA and French contingents with at least 3,000 more troops and police with a coordinated command and essential logistical and financial support for the African troops. It also proposes plans to improve the capacity of government institutions and to support the justice system. 

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic. 

Media Node:  CAR story Story Location:  Central African Republic 6° 42' 58.3308" N, 19° 41' 22.2036" E “It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians. ” Source:  Netsanet Belay, Africa Director of Research and Advocacy at Amnesty International. URL:  Life in the midst of horror in the Central African Republic Description:  Feature, 18 February 2014 URL:  Central African Republic: Ethnic cleansing and sectarian killings Description:  News Story/Briefing, 12 February 2014. URL:  Counting bodies in the Central African Republic Description:  Blog, 12 February 2014. URL:  Central African Republic: More than 50 Muslims killed in two attacks Description:  News story, 24 January 2014.

CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis

Amnesty International - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:33am
Headline Title:  CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis 28 February 2014

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), said Amnesty International.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is expected to present his assessment report on the possible transformation of the African-led peacekeeping force in CAR into a UN peacekeeping mission before 5 March.

“It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director Research and Advocacy.

Amnesty International’s successive missions to CAR have revealed how the African led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) is under-resourced and ill equipped.  Its poor coordination with French troops (Sangaris) has failed to end the killings of civilians and the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim community from large parts of the country.

“Current efforts to tackle the crisis are far from adequate and the new UN mission must have the capability to tackle this crisis,” said Belay.

“We witnessed peacekeeping soldiers being deployed to areas where they had no idea of what was going on, or even where they were. Their morale was low, their equipment poor, and many complained they have not been paid for months.”

International promises to finance MISCA have yet to be fully met.

“Much of the money pledged to strengthen MISCA has not come through and there is an atmosphere of passing the buck in many of the international institutions.  Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of people continue to be internally displaced and thousands of Muslims are struggling to leave the country fearing for their lives.”

“The Security Council must take decisive action. This is a matter of the greatest urgency - every day counts. Hundreds of thousands of people are suffering. Saving people’s lives must prevail over politics,” said Belay.

The UN Secretary General presented a six-point initiative to the UNSC last week designed to strengthen existing operations. It includes a rapid reinforcement of the MISCA and French contingents with at least 3,000 more troops and police with a coordinated command and essential logistical and financial support for the African troops. It also proposes plans to improve the capacity of government institutions and to support the justice system. 

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic. 

Media Node:  CAR story Story Location:  Central African Republic 6° 42' 58.3308" N, 19° 41' 22.2036" E “It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians. ” Source:  Netsanet Belay, Africa Director of Research and Advocacy at Amnesty International. URL:  Life in the midst of horror in the Central African Republic Description:  Feature, 18 February 2014 URL:  Central African Republic: Ethnic cleansing and sectarian killings Description:  News Story/Briefing, 12 February 2014. URL:  Counting bodies in the Central African Republic Description:  Blog, 12 February 2014. URL:  Central African Republic: More than 50 Muslims killed in two attacks Description:  News story, 24 January 2014.

CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis

Amnesty International - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:33am
Headline Title:  CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis 28 February 2014

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), said Amnesty International.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is expected to present his assessment report on the possible transformation of the African-led peacekeeping force in CAR into a UN peacekeeping mission before 5 March.

“It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director Research and Advocacy.

Amnesty International’s successive missions to CAR have revealed how the African led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) is under-resourced and ill equipped.  Its poor coordination with French troops (Sangaris) has failed to end the killings of civilians and the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim community from large parts of the country.

“Current efforts to tackle the crisis are far from adequate and the new UN mission must have the capability to tackle this crisis,” said Belay.

“We witnessed peacekeeping soldiers being deployed to areas where they had no idea of what was going on, or even where they were. Their morale was low, their equipment poor, and many complained they have not been paid for months.”

International promises to finance MISCA have yet to be fully met.

“Much of the money pledged to strengthen MISCA has not come through and there is an atmosphere of passing the buck in many of the international institutions.  Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of people continue to be internally displaced and thousands of Muslims are struggling to leave the country fearing for their lives.”

“The Security Council must take decisive action. This is a matter of the greatest urgency - every day counts. Hundreds of thousands of people are suffering. Saving people’s lives must prevail over politics,” said Belay.

The UN Secretary General presented a six-point initiative to the UNSC last week designed to strengthen existing operations. It includes a rapid reinforcement of the MISCA and French contingents with at least 3,000 more troops and police with a coordinated command and essential logistical and financial support for the African troops. It also proposes plans to improve the capacity of government institutions and to support the justice system. 

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic. 

Media Node:  CAR story Story Location:  República Centroafricana 6° 42' 58.3308" N, 19° 41' 22.2036" E “It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians. ” Source:  Netsanet Belay, Africa Director of Research and Advocacy at Amnesty International. URL:  Life in the midst of horror in the Central African Republic Description:  Feature, 18 February 2014 URL:  Central African Republic: Ethnic cleansing and sectarian killings Description:  News Story/Briefing, 12 February 2014. URL:  Counting bodies in the Central African Republic Description:  Blog, 12 February 2014. URL:  Central African Republic: More than 50 Muslims killed in two attacks Description:  News story, 24 January 2014.

CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis

Amnesty International - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:33am
Headline Title:  CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis 28 February 2014

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), said Amnesty International.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is expected to present his assessment report on the possible transformation of the African-led peacekeeping force in CAR into a UN peacekeeping mission before 5 March.

“It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director Research and Advocacy.

Amnesty International’s successive missions to CAR have revealed how the African led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) is under-resourced and ill equipped.  Its poor coordination with French troops (Sangaris) has failed to end the killings of civilians and the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim community from large parts of the country.

“Current efforts to tackle the crisis are far from adequate and the new UN mission must have the capability to tackle this crisis,” said Belay.

“We witnessed peacekeeping soldiers being deployed to areas where they had no idea of what was going on, or even where they were. Their morale was low, their equipment poor, and many complained they have not been paid for months.”

International promises to finance MISCA have yet to be fully met.

“Much of the money pledged to strengthen MISCA has not come through and there is an atmosphere of passing the buck in many of the international institutions.  Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of people continue to be internally displaced and thousands of Muslims are struggling to leave the country fearing for their lives.”

“The Security Council must take decisive action. This is a matter of the greatest urgency - every day counts. Hundreds of thousands of people are suffering. Saving people’s lives must prevail over politics,” said Belay.

The UN Secretary General presented a six-point initiative to the UNSC last week designed to strengthen existing operations. It includes a rapid reinforcement of the MISCA and French contingents with at least 3,000 more troops and police with a coordinated command and essential logistical and financial support for the African troops. It also proposes plans to improve the capacity of government institutions and to support the justice system. 

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic. 

Media Node:  CAR story Story Location:  Central African Republic 6° 42' 58.3308" N, 19° 41' 22.2036" E “It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians. ” Source:  Netsanet Belay, Africa Director of Research and Advocacy at Amnesty International. URL:  Life in the midst of horror in the Central African Republic Description:  Feature, 18 February 2014 URL:  Central African Republic: Ethnic cleansing and sectarian killings Description:  News Story/Briefing, 12 February 2014. URL:  Counting bodies in the Central African Republic Description:  Blog, 12 February 2014. URL:  Central African Republic: More than 50 Muslims killed in two attacks Description:  News story, 24 January 2014.

CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis

Amnesty International - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:33am
Headline Title:  CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis 28 February 2014

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), said Amnesty International.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is expected to present his assessment report on the possible transformation of the African-led peacekeeping force in CAR into a UN peacekeeping mission before 5 March.

“It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director Research and Advocacy.

Amnesty International’s successive missions to CAR have revealed how the African led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) is under-resourced and ill equipped.  Its poor coordination with French troops (Sangaris) has failed to end the killings of civilians and the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim community from large parts of the country.

“Current efforts to tackle the crisis are far from adequate and the new UN mission must have the capability to tackle this crisis,” said Belay.

“We witnessed peacekeeping soldiers being deployed to areas where they had no idea of what was going on, or even where they were. Their morale was low, their equipment poor, and many complained they have not been paid for months.”

International promises to finance MISCA have yet to be fully met.

“Much of the money pledged to strengthen MISCA has not come through and there is an atmosphere of passing the buck in many of the international institutions.  Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of people continue to be internally displaced and thousands of Muslims are struggling to leave the country fearing for their lives.”

“The Security Council must take decisive action. This is a matter of the greatest urgency - every day counts. Hundreds of thousands of people are suffering. Saving people’s lives must prevail over politics,” said Belay.

The UN Secretary General presented a six-point initiative to the UNSC last week designed to strengthen existing operations. It includes a rapid reinforcement of the MISCA and French contingents with at least 3,000 more troops and police with a coordinated command and essential logistical and financial support for the African troops. It also proposes plans to improve the capacity of government institutions and to support the justice system. 

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic. 

Media Node:  CAR story Story Location:  Central African Republic 6° 42' 58.3308" N, 19° 41' 22.2036" E “It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians. ” Source:  Netsanet Belay, Africa Director of Research and Advocacy at Amnesty International. URL:  Life in the midst of horror in the Central African Republic Description:  Feature, 18 February 2014 URL:  Central African Republic: Ethnic cleansing and sectarian killings Description:  News Story/Briefing, 12 February 2014. URL:  Counting bodies in the Central African Republic Description:  Blog, 12 February 2014. URL:  Central African Republic: More than 50 Muslims killed in two attacks Description:  News story, 24 January 2014.

CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis

Amnesty International - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:33am
Headline Title:  CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis 28 February 2014

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), said Amnesty International.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is expected to present his assessment report on the possible transformation of the African-led peacekeeping force in CAR into a UN peacekeeping mission before 5 March.

“It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director Research and Advocacy.

Amnesty International’s successive missions to CAR have revealed how the African led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) is under-resourced and ill equipped.  Its poor coordination with French troops (Sangaris) has failed to end the killings of civilians and the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim community from large parts of the country.

“Current efforts to tackle the crisis are far from adequate and the new UN mission must have the capability to tackle this crisis,” said Belay.

“We witnessed peacekeeping soldiers being deployed to areas where they had no idea of what was going on, or even where they were. Their morale was low, their equipment poor, and many complained they have not been paid for months.”

International promises to finance MISCA have yet to be fully met.

“Much of the money pledged to strengthen MISCA has not come through and there is an atmosphere of passing the buck in many of the international institutions.  Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of people continue to be internally displaced and thousands of Muslims are struggling to leave the country fearing for their lives.”

“The Security Council must take decisive action. This is a matter of the greatest urgency - every day counts. Hundreds of thousands of people are suffering. Saving people’s lives must prevail over politics,” said Belay.

The UN Secretary General presented a six-point initiative to the UNSC last week designed to strengthen existing operations. It includes a rapid reinforcement of the MISCA and French contingents with at least 3,000 more troops and police with a coordinated command and essential logistical and financial support for the African troops. It also proposes plans to improve the capacity of government institutions and to support the justice system. 

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic. 

Media Node:  CAR story Story Location:  Central African Republic 6° 42' 58.3308" N, 19° 41' 22.2036" E “It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians. ” Source:  Netsanet Belay, Africa Director of Research and Advocacy at Amnesty International. URL:  Life in the midst of horror in the Central African Republic Description:  Feature, 18 February 2014 URL:  Central African Republic: Ethnic cleansing and sectarian killings Description:  News Story/Briefing, 12 February 2014. URL:  Counting bodies in the Central African Republic Description:  Blog, 12 February 2014. URL:  Central African Republic: More than 50 Muslims killed in two attacks Description:  News story, 24 January 2014.

CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis

Amnesty International - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:33am
Headline Title:  CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis 28 February 2014

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), said Amnesty International.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is expected to present his assessment report on the possible transformation of the African-led peacekeeping force in CAR into a UN peacekeeping mission before 5 March.

“It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director Research and Advocacy.

Amnesty International’s successive missions to CAR have revealed how the African led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) is under-resourced and ill equipped.  Its poor coordination with French troops (Sangari’s) has failed to end the killings of civilians and the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim community from large parts of the country.

“Current efforts to tackle the crisis are far from adequate and the new UN mission must have the capability to tackle this crisis,” said Belay.

“We witnessed peacekeeping soldiers being deployed to areas where they had no idea of what was going on, or even where they were. Their morale was low, their equipment poor, and many complained they have not been paid for months.”

International promises to finance MISCA have yet to be fully met.

“Much of the money pledged to strengthen MISCA has not come through and there is an atmosphere of passing the buck in many of the international institutions.  Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of people continue to be internally displaced and thousands of Muslims are struggling to leave the country fearing for their lives.”

“The Security Council must take decisive action. This is a matter of the greatest urgency - every day counts. Hundreds of thousands of people are suffering. Saving people’s lives must prevail over politics,” said Belay.

The UN Secretary General presented a six-point initiative to the UNSC last week designed to strengthen existing operations. It includes a rapid reinforcement of the MISCA and French contingents with at least 3,000 more troops and police with a coordinated command and essential logistical and financial support for the African troops. It also proposes plans to improve the capacity of government institutions and to support the justice system. 

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic. 

Media Node:  CAR story Story Location:  Central African Republic 6° 42' 58.3308" N, 19° 41' 22.2036" E “It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians. ” Source:  Netsanet Belay, Africa Director of Research and Advocacy at Amnesty International. URL:  Life in the midst of horror in the Central African Republic Description:  Feature, 18 February 2014 URL:  Central African Republic: Ethnic cleansing and sectarian killings Description:  News Story/Briefing, 12 February 2014. URL:  Counting bodies in the Central African Republic Description:  Blog, 12 February 2014. URL:  Central African Republic: More than 50 Muslims killed in two attacks Description:  News story, 24 January 2014.

CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis

Amnesty International - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:33am
Headline Title:  CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis 28 February 2014

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), said Amnesty International.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is expected to present his assessment report on the possible transformation of the African-led peacekeeping force in CAR into a UN peacekeeping mission before 5 March.

“It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director Research and Advocacy.

Amnesty International’s successive missions to CAR have revealed how the African led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) is under-resourced and ill equipped.  Its poor coordination with French troops (Sangaris) has failed to end the killings of civilians and the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim community from large parts of the country.

“Current efforts to tackle the crisis are far from adequate and the new UN mission must have the capability to tackle this crisis,” said Belay.

“We witnessed peacekeeping soldiers being deployed to areas where they had no idea of what was going on, or even where they were. Their morale was low, their equipment poor, and many complained they have not been paid for months.”

International promises to finance MISCA have yet to be fully met.

“Much of the money pledged to strengthen MISCA has not come through and there is an atmosphere of passing the buck in many of the international institutions.  Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of people continue to be internally displaced and thousands of Muslims are struggling to leave the country fearing for their lives.”

“The Security Council must take decisive action. This is a matter of the greatest urgency - every day counts. Hundreds of thousands of people are suffering. Saving people’s lives must prevail over politics,” said Belay.

The UN Secretary General presented a six-point initiative to the UNSC last week designed to strengthen existing operations. It includes a rapid reinforcement of the MISCA and French contingents with at least 3,000 more troops and police with a coordinated command and essential logistical and financial support for the African troops. It also proposes plans to improve the capacity of government institutions and to support the justice system. 

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic. 

Media Node:  CAR story Story Location:  Central African Republic 6° 42' 58.3308" N, 19° 41' 22.2036" E “It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians. ” Source:  Netsanet Belay, Africa Director of Research and Advocacy at Amnesty International. URL:  Life in the midst of horror in the Central African Republic Description:  Feature, 18 February 2014 URL:  Central African Republic: Ethnic cleansing and sectarian killings Description:  News Story/Briefing, 12 February 2014. URL:  Counting bodies in the Central African Republic Description:  Blog, 12 February 2014. URL:  Central African Republic: More than 50 Muslims killed in two attacks Description:  News story, 24 January 2014.

CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis

Amnesty International - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:33am
Headline Title:  CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis 28 February 2014

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), said Amnesty International.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is expected to present his assessment report on the possible transformation of the African-led peacekeeping force in CAR into a UN peacekeeping mission before 5 March.

“It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director Research and Advocacy.

Amnesty International’s successive missions to CAR have revealed how the African led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) is under-resourced and ill equipped.  Its poor coordination with French troops (Sangaris) has failed to end the killings of civilians and the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim community from large parts of the country.

“Current efforts to tackle the crisis are far from adequate and the new UN mission must have the capability to tackle this crisis,” said Belay.

“We witnessed peacekeeping soldiers being deployed to areas where they had no idea of what was going on, or even where they were. Their morale was low, their equipment poor, and many complained they have not been paid for months.”

International promises to finance MISCA have yet to be fully met.

“Much of the money pledged to strengthen MISCA has not come through and there is an atmosphere of passing the buck in many of the international institutions.  Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of people continue to be internally displaced and thousands of Muslims are struggling to leave the country fearing for their lives.”

“The Security Council must take decisive action. This is a matter of the greatest urgency - every day counts. Hundreds of thousands of people are suffering. Saving people’s lives must prevail over politics,” said Belay.

The UN Secretary General presented a six-point initiative to the UNSC last week designed to strengthen existing operations. It includes a rapid reinforcement of the MISCA and French contingents with at least 3,000 more troops and police with a coordinated command and essential logistical and financial support for the African troops. It also proposes plans to improve the capacity of government institutions and to support the justice system. 

Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic. 

Media Node:  CAR story Story Location:  Central African Republic 6° 42' 58.3308" N, 19° 41' 22.2036" E “It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians. ” Source:  Netsanet Belay, Africa Director of Research and Advocacy at Amnesty International. URL:  Life in the midst of horror in the Central African Republic Description:  Feature, 18 February 2014 URL:  Central African Republic: Ethnic cleansing and sectarian killings Description:  News Story/Briefing, 12 February 2014. URL:  Counting bodies in the Central African Republic Description:  Blog, 12 February 2014. URL:  Central African Republic: More than 50 Muslims killed in two attacks Description:  News story, 24 January 2014.

Nigeria: More than 600 killed in the last two months

Amnesty International - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:14am
Headline Title:  Nigeria: More than 600 killed in the last two months 28 February 2014

 

Amnesty International is alarmed by the increase in attacks by unknown gunmen on people in north-east Nigeria and called on the government to take effective measures to protect the people and prevent further human rights abuses. 

 

Early Thursday morning saw the latest attack, on Shuwa, Kirchinga and Michika villages in Adamawa State, north-east Nigeria, in which at least 40 people were slaughtered. 

 

“Since the beginning of this year the attacks have intensified. Over 600 people have been killed by gunmen, often suspected to be Boko Haram,” said Makmid Kamara, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International. 

 

“The Nigerian government’s continued failure to protect ordinary people from attacks and unlawful killings is shocking. The authorities have an obligation to protect people’s lives and properties under all circumstances. All armed groups operating in northern Nigeria must immediately stop these horrific attacks” 

 

On Monday at least 29 students and teachers at a college were murdered in Yobe state in north-eastern Nigeria. Some injured students later died in hospital increasing the death toll to over 40. 

 

Amnesty International has spoken to survivors of these attacks. 

 

Some survivors and local residents told Amnesty International that the gunmen spent several hours in the school compound killing people and burning nearby houses and school buildings. They described how gunmen arrived around 9:00pm and started shooting indiscriminately, killing every male they found. Children who hid in a classroom were burned alive. Survivors and some eye witnesses told Amnesty International it took several hours before the army responded, in one case after the attackers had left. 

 

Amnesty International is calling on the Nigerian authorities to provide better protection for schools and ensure that all attacks are properly investigated and suspected perpetrators brought to justice in a fair trial without recourse to the death penalty. 

Amnesty International is alarmed by the increase in attacks by unknown gunmen on people in north-east Nigeria and called on the government to take effective measures to protect the people and prevent further human rights abuses. 

Media Node:  Nigeria Boko Haram attacks Story Location:  Nigeria 13° 34' 31.8504" N, 5° 11' 7.9692" E “Since the beginning of this year the attacks have intensified. Over 600 people have been killed by gunmen, often suspected to be Boko Haram ” Source:  Makmid Kamara, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International Date:  Fri, 28/02/2014 URL:  Carnage in northern Nigeria amounts to crimes against humanity Description:  News story, 17 February 2014 URL:  Nigeria: Deaths of hundreds of Boko Haram suspects in custody requires investigation Description:  News story/briefing, 15 October 2013 URL:  Nigeria: Children slaughtered, schools under siege Description:  News story/report, 3 October 2013

Nigeria: More than 600 killed in the last two months

Amnesty International - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:14am
Headline Title:  Nigeria: More than 600 killed in the last two months 28 February 2014

 

Amnesty International is alarmed by the increase in attacks by unknown gunmen on people in north-east Nigeria and called on the government to take effective measures to protect the people and prevent further human rights abuses. 

 

Early Thursday morning saw the latest attack, on Shuwa, Kirchinga and Michika villages in Adamawa State, north-east Nigeria, in which at least 40 people were slaughtered. 

 

“Since the beginning of this year the attacks have intensified. Over 600 people have been killed by gunmen, often suspected to be Boko Haram,” said Makmid Kamara, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International. 

 

“The Nigerian government’s continued failure to protect ordinary people from attacks and unlawful killings is shocking. The authorities have an obligation to protect people’s lives and properties under all circumstances. All armed groups operating in northern Nigeria must immediately stop these horrific attacks” 

 

On Monday at least 29 students and teachers at a college were murdered in Yobe state in north-eastern Nigeria. Some injured students later died in hospital increasing the death toll to over 40. 

 

Amnesty International has spoken to survivors of these attacks. 

 

Some survivors and local residents told Amnesty International that the gunmen spent several hours in the school compound killing people and burning nearby houses and school buildings. They described how gunmen arrived around 9:00pm and started shooting indiscriminately, killing every male they found. Children who hid in a classroom were burned alive. Survivors and some eye witnesses told Amnesty International it took several hours before the army responded, in one case after the attackers had left. 

 

Amnesty International is calling on the Nigerian authorities to provide better protection for schools and ensure that all attacks are properly investigated and suspected perpetrators brought to justice in a fair trial without recourse to the death penalty. 

Amnesty International is alarmed by the increase in attacks by unknown gunmen on people in north-east Nigeria and called on the government to take effective measures to protect the people and prevent further human rights abuses. 

Media Node:  Nigeria Boko Haram attacks Story Location:  Nigeria 13° 34' 31.8504" N, 5° 11' 7.9692" E “Since the beginning of this year the attacks have intensified. Over 600 people have been killed by gunmen, often suspected to be Boko Haram ” Source:  Makmid Kamara, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International Date:  Fri, 28/02/2014 URL:  Carnage in northern Nigeria amounts to crimes against humanity Description:  News story, 17 February 2014 URL:  Nigeria: Deaths of hundreds of Boko Haram suspects in custody requires investigation Description:  News story/briefing, 15 October 2013 URL:  Nigeria: Children slaughtered, schools under siege Description:  News story/report, 3 October 2013

Nigeria: More than 600 killed in the last two months

Amnesty International - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:14am
Headline Title:  Nigeria: More than 600 killed in the last two months 28 February 2014

 

Amnesty International is alarmed by the increase in attacks by unknown gunmen on people in north-east Nigeria and called on the government to take effective measures to protect the people and prevent further human rights abuses. 

 

Early Thursday morning saw the latest attack, on Shuwa, Kirchinga and Michika villages in Adamawa State, north-east Nigeria, in which at least 40 people were slaughtered. 

 

“Since the beginning of this year the attacks have intensified. Over 600 people have been killed by gunmen, often suspected to be Boko Haram,” said Makmid Kamara, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International. 

 

“The Nigerian government’s continued failure to protect ordinary people from attacks and unlawful killings is shocking. The authorities have an obligation to protect people’s lives and properties under all circumstances. All armed groups operating in northern Nigeria must immediately stop these horrific attacks” 

 

On Monday at least 29 students and teachers at a college were murdered in Yobe state in north-eastern Nigeria. Some injured students later died in hospital increasing the death toll to over 40. 

 

Amnesty International has spoken to survivors of these attacks. 

 

Some survivors and local residents told Amnesty International that the gunmen spent several hours in the school compound killing people and burning nearby houses and school buildings. They described how gunmen arrived around 9:00pm and started shooting indiscriminately, killing every male they found. Children who hid in a classroom were burned alive. Survivors and some eye witnesses told Amnesty International it took several hours before the army responded, in one case after the attackers had left. 

 

Amnesty International is calling on the Nigerian authorities to provide better protection for schools and ensure that all attacks are properly investigated and suspected perpetrators brought to justice in a fair trial without recourse to the death penalty. 

Amnesty International is alarmed by the increase in attacks by unknown gunmen on people in north-east Nigeria and called on the government to take effective measures to protect the people and prevent further human rights abuses. 

Media Node:  Nigeria Boko Haram attacks Story Location:  Nigeria 13° 34' 31.8504" N, 5° 11' 7.9692" E “Since the beginning of this year the attacks have intensified. Over 600 people have been killed by gunmen, often suspected to be Boko Haram ” Source:  Makmid Kamara, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International Date:  Fri, 28/02/2014 URL:  Carnage in northern Nigeria amounts to crimes against humanity Description:  News story, 17 February 2014 URL:  Nigeria: Deaths of hundreds of Boko Haram suspects in custody requires investigation Description:  News story/briefing, 15 October 2013 URL:  Nigeria: Children slaughtered, schools under siege Description:  News story/report, 3 October 2013
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