• Syria-Turkey briefing: The fallout of an invasion for civilians

    Humanitarians are warning that a Turkish invasion in northeast Syria could force hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes, as confusion reigns over its possible timing, scope, and consequences.

    Panos Moumtzis, the UN’s regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria, told reporters in Geneva on Monday that any military operation must guard against causing further displacement. “We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst,” he said, noting that an estimated 1.7 million people live in the country’s northeast.

    Some residents close to the Syria-Turkey border are already leaving, one aid worker familiar with the situation on the ground told The New Humanitarian. Most are staying with relatives in nearby villages for the time-being, said the aid worker, who asked to remain anonymous in order to continue their work.

    The number of people who have left their homes so far remains relatively small, the aid worker said, but added: “If there is an incursion, people will leave.”

    The International Rescue Committee said “a military offensive could immediately displace at least 300,000 people”, but analysts TNH spoke to cautioned that the actual number would depend on Turkey’s plans, which remain a major unknown.

    As the diplomatic and security communities struggle to get a handle on what’s next, the same goes for humanitarians in northeastern Syria – and the communities they are trying to serve.

    Here’s what we know, and what we don’t:
    What just happened?

    Late on Sunday night, the White House said that following a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria,” adding that US soldiers would not be part of the move, and “will no longer be in the immediate area”.

    The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – the Syrian-Kurdish-led militia that until now had been supported by the United States and played a major role in wresting territory back from the so-called Islamic State (IS) group in Syria – vowed to stand its ground in the northeast.

    An SDF spokesperson tweeted that the group “will not hesitate to turn any unprovoked attack by Turkey into an all-out war on the entire border to DEFEND ourselves and our people”.

    Leading Republicans in the US Congress criticised President Donald Trump’s decision, saying it represents an abandonment of Kurdish allies in Syria, and the Pentagon appeared both caught off-guard and opposed to a Turkish incursion.

    Since then, Trump has tweeted extensively on the subject, threatening to “totally destroy and obliterate the economy of Turkey” if the country does anything he considers to be “off limits”.

    On the ground, US troops have moved out of two key observation posts on the Turkey-Syria border, in relatively small numbers: estimates range from 50 to 150 of the total who would have been shifted, out of around 1,000 US soldiers in the country.
    What is Turkey doing?

    Erdogan has long had his sights on a “safe zone” inside Syria, which he has said could eventually become home to as many as three million Syrian refugees, currently in Turkey.

    Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said in August that only 17 percent of Turkey’s estimated 3.6 million Syrian refugees come from the northeast of the country, which is administered by the SDF and its political wing.

    Turkish and US forces began joint patrols of a small stretch of the border early last month. While Turkey began calling the area a “safe zone”, the United States referred to it as a “security mechanism”. The terms of the deal were either never made public or not hammered out.

    In addition to any desire to resettle refugees, which might only be a secondary motive, Turkey wants control of northeast Syria to rein in the power of the SDF, which it considers to be a terrorist organisation.

    One of the SDF’s main constituent parts are People’s Defense Units – known by their Kurdish acronym YPG.

    The YPG are an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK – a Turkey-based Kurdish separatist organisation that has conducted an insurgency against the Turkish government for decades, leading to a bloody crackdown.

    While rebels fight for the northwest, and Russian-backed Syrian government forces control most of the rest of Syria, the SDF currently rules over almost all of Hassakeh province, most of Raqqa and Deir Ezzor provinces, and a small part of Aleppo province.
    How many civilians are at risk?

    There has not been a census in Syria for years, and numbers shift quickly as people flee different pockets of conflict. This makes estimating the number of civilians in northeast Syria very difficult.

    The IRC said in its statement it is “deeply concerned about the lives and livelihoods of the two million civilians in northeast Syria”; Moumtzis mentioned 1.7 million people; and Save the Children said “there are 1.65 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in this area, including more than 650,000 displaced by war”.

    Of those who have had to leave their homes in Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, and Hassakeh, only 100,000 are living in camps, according to figures from the International Committee of the Red Cross. Others rent houses or apartments, and some live in unfinished buildings or tents.

    “While many commentators are rightly focusing on the security implications of this policy reversal, the humanitarian implications will be equally enormous,” said Jeremy Konyndyk, senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, and a former high-ranking Obama administration aid official.

    “All across Northern Syria, hundreds of thousands of displaced and conflict-affected people who survived the horrors of the… [IS] era will now face the risk of new violence between Turkish and SDF forces.”
    Who will be first in the firing line?

    It’s unlikely all of northeast Syria would be impacted by a Turkish invasion right away, given that so far the United States has only moved its troops away from two border posts, at Tel Abyad (Kurdish name: Gire Spi), and roughly 100 kilometres to the east, at Ras al-Ayn (Kurdish name: Serê Kaniyê).

    Depending on how far into Syria one is counting, aid workers estimate there are between 52,000 to 68,000 people in this 100-kilometre strip, including the towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn themselves. The aid worker in northeast Syria told TNH that if there is an offensive, these people are more likely, at least initially, to stay with family or friends in nearby villages than to end up in camps.

    The aid worker added that while humanitarian operations from more than 70 NGOs are ongoing across the northeast, including in places like Tel Abyad, some locals are avoiding the town itself and, in general, people are “extremely worried”.
    What will happen to al-Hol camp?

    The fate of the rest of northeast Syria’s population may also be at risk.

    Trump tweeted on Monday that the Kurds “must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS fighters and families”.

    The SDF currently administers al-Hol, a tense camp of more than 68,000 people – mostly women and children – deep in Hassakeh province, where the World Health Organisation recently said people are living “in harsh and deplorable conditions, with limited access to quality basic services, sub-optimal environment and concerns of insecurity.”

    Many of the residents of al-Hol stayed with IS through its last days in Syria, and the camp holds both these supporters and people who fled the group earlier on.

    Last week, Médecins Sans Frontières said security forces shot at women protesting in a part of the camp known as “the annex”, which holds around 10,000 who are not Syrian or Iraqi.

    The SDF also holds more than 10,000 IS detainees in other prisons, and the possible release of these people – plus those at al-Hol – may become a useful bargaining chip for the Kurdish-led group.

    On Monday, an SDF commander said guarding the prisoners had become a “second priority” in the wake of a possible Turkish offensive.

    “All their families are located in the border area,” General Mazloum Kobani Abdi told NBC News of the SDF fighters who had been guarding the prisoners. “So they are forced to defend their families.”

    #Syrie #Turquie #guerre #conflit #civiles #invasion #al-Hol #Kurdistan #Kurdes #camps #camps_de_réfugiés
    ping @isskein

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  • Driven to suicide in Tunisia’s UNHCR refugee shelter

    Lack of adequate care and #frustration over absence of resettlement plans prompt attempted suicides, refugees say.

    Last Monday night, 16-year-old Nato* slit his wrists and was rushed to the local hospital in Medenine.

    He had decided to end his life in a refugee facility run by the UN’s refugee agency, the UNHCR, in Medenine. After running for two years, escaping Eritrea and near-certain conscription into the country’s army, making it through Sudan, Egypt and Libya, he had reached Tunisia and despair.

    A few days later, Nato was transferred to a psychiatric hospital in #Sfax, 210km north of Medenine, where he was kept on lockdown and was frustrated that he was not able to communicate with anyone in the facility.

    Nato’s isn’t the only story of despair among refugees in Tunisia. A female refugee was taken to hospital after drinking bleach, while a 16-year-old unaccompanied young girl tried to escape over the borders to Libya, but was stopped at Ben Gardane.

    “I’m not surprised by what has happened to Nato,” a 16-year-old at the UNHCR facility told Al Jazeera on the condition of anonymity.

    “They just keep us here without providing any support and after we ... witnessed killings of our friends. We feel completely abandoned. We don’t feel secure and protected,” he said.


    The 30 to 35 unaccompanied minors living in UNHCR’s reception facility in Medenine share a room, spending their days remembering past images of violence and abuse.

    “I cannot get out of my mind the picture of my friend dying after they pointed a gun at his temple. He was sitting next to me. Sometimes at night, I cannot sleep,” the 16-year-old said.
    ’They’re trying to hide us here’

    The UNHCR facility in Medenine struggles to offer essential services to a growing number of arrivals.

    According to the information given to Al Jazeera, the asylum seekers and refugees have not received medical screenings or access to psychosocial support, nor were they informed clearly of their rights in Tunisia.

    “We feel they are trying to hide us here,” said Amin*. “How can we say we are safe if UNHCR is not protecting our basic rights? If we are here left without options, we will try to cross the sea.”

    Amin, 19, has no vision of what his life will be. He would like to continue his education or learn a new language but, since his arrival, he has only promises and hopes, no plans.

    The young people here find themselves having to take care of themselves and navigate the questions of what their future will be like, at times without even being able to reach out to their families back home for comfort.

    “My parents are in Eritrea and since more than a year, I was able to speak with them only for three minutes,” said Senait*, a 15-year-old boy from Eritrea.


    Aaron*, a 16-year-old boy who has been on the road for three years and three months, has not been able to call his relatives at all since his arrival in Tunisia.

    “Last time I have contacted them was in 2016 while I was in Sudan. I miss them so much,” he said.

    Last week, many of them participated in a peaceful demonstration, demanding medical care, support from the UNHCR and resettlement to third countries.

    Refugee lives in suspension

    Nato, as well as a number of refugee minors Al Jazeera spoke to, arrived in Tunisia over the Libyan border with the help of smugglers. The same is true for hundreds of refugees escaping Libya.

    Tunisia registered more than 1,000 refugees and 350 asylum seekers, mainly from Syria, Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia.

    But the country has neither the capacity nor the means to host refugees, and because it doesn’t have a coherent asylum system, the refugees find themselves living a largely suspended life.


    Officially, refugees are not allowed to work and, therefore, there is no formal system of protection for those that do work.

    Awate*, a 24-year-old man from Eritrea, had been working for nine days in a hotel in the seaside city of Zarzis when he was arrested and brought to a police station where he was interrogated for 30 minutes.

    “They told me ’why are you going to work without passport?’,” he said, adding that he has not worked since.

    The UNHCR in Tunisia is pushing alternatives, which include enhancing refugees’ self-reliance and livelihood opportunities.

    A month ago, a group of 32 people moved out of the reception centre with an offer of a monthly payment of 350 Tunisian dinars ($116) and help to find private accommodation. Among them, nine decided to go to the capital, Tunis. The plan is confirmed for three months, with no clarity on what happens next.

    Aklilu*, a 36-year-old former child soldier from Eritrea who took up the offer, is now renting a small apartment on the main road to Djerba for 250 Tunisian dinars ($83).

    “Why should I be forced to settle in a country that’s not ready to host refugees?” he said. “They are thinking of Tunisia as the final destination but there are no conditions for it. The UNHCR is not making any effort to integrate us. We don’t get any language courses or technical training.”

    #Tunisie #HCR #UNHCR #camps_de_réfugiés #suicide #réinstallation #limbe #attente #transit #trauma #traumatisme #santé_mentale #MNA #mineurs_non_accompagnés #migrations #asile #réfugiés
    ping @kg

    https://seenthis.net/messages/770188 via CDB_77

  • 1939 : la IIIe République interne les #femmes « indésirables » dans des #camps réservés : communistes, juives, antifascistes italiennes et espagnoles, délinquantes de droit commun se retrouvent derrière les barbelés... Un #film de l’historienne #Rolande_Trempé.



    #histoire, république, #enferment, #camp, #prison, #internement, #communiste, #femmes, #antifascisme, #antifasciste, #espagnoles, #italiennes, #juives

    https://seenthis.net/messages/736562 via Mondes Sociaux

  • New Satellite Imagery Shows Growth in Detention Camps for Children

    A satellite image taken on September 13, 2018, shows substantial growth in the tent city the US government is using to detain migrant children located in the desert in #Tornillo, #Texas.

    The tent city was originally used to house children separated from parents this summer, when the Trump administration was aggressively prosecuting parents traveling with children for illegal entry to the US. The US Department of Health and Human Services has stated that the new growth in the number of tents is necessary in order to house children who may cross the border on their own, unaccompanied by family members.

    The image from September 13, 2018 shows that since June 19th, the date of a previous satellite image, the number of tent shelters has nearly quadrupled, from 28 to 101 tents. At a reported capacity of 20 children per tent, the tent city can currently house 2,020 children, which is only half of the government’s stated goal of 3,800 beds at the Tornillo facility. In addition to the completed tents, there are numerous tents that can be seen currently under construction as well as several larger buildings that have recently been built.

    “Children should not be detained, since locking up kids harms their health and development,” said Alison Parker, US managing director of Human Rights Watch. “There are safe and viable alternatives to detaining children that the US government should put to use immediately.”

    #rétention #détention #camps #asile #migrations #réfugiés #enfants #enfance #images_satellitaires #USA #frontières #Etats-Unis

    https://seenthis.net/messages/727573 via CDB_77

  • Pologne : une pétition d’universitaires francophones dénonce une « loi liberticide »

    Agnieszka Grudzinska, #Jean-Charles_Szurek et #Jean-Yves_Potel, universitaires français, ont mis en ligne aujourd’hui une pétition appelant « le législateur polonais à reculer » sur le vote de la loi mémorielle sur la responsabilité de crimes nazis attribués à la Pologne et aux Polonais. Adressée ce lundi au président polonais Andrzej Duda et d’ores-et-déjà signée par 350 […]

    #Idées #Agnieszka_Grudzinska #Camps_de_la_mort #Histoire_contemporaine #Holocauste #Jan_Błoński #Jan_T._Gross #Marek_Edelman #Sciences_sociales #Seconde_Guerre_mondiale #Shoah #Valentin_Behr #Władysław_Bartoszewski

  • « La politique historique du gouvernement polonais laisse peu de place à la nuance »

    La Diète polonaise a adopté en première lecture vendredi dernier une loi visant à condamner quiconque « attribue à la Nation polonaise ou à l’État polonais une responsabilité ou une co-responsabilité pour les crimes nazis commis par le Troisième Reich […], ou bien pour d’autres crimes de guerre ou crimes contre l’humanité ». Au-delà de cette question, c’est la […]

    #Société #Anna_Zalewska #Antoni_Macierewicz #Auschwitz #Camps_de_concentration #Holocauste #Jan_Grabowski #Jan_Żaryn #Mateusz_Morawiecki #Musée_de_la_Seconde_Guerre_mondiale_de_Gdańsk #PiS #PO #Seconde_Guerre_mondiale #Shoah

  • La #Pologne ne veut plus entendre parler de « #Camps_de_la_mort polonais »

    Une crise diplomatique a éclatée entre la Pologne et Israël sur fond de commémoration du 73ème anniversaire de la découverte du camp d’Auschwitz-Birkenau.

    #Société #Allemagne #Auschwitz #Holocauste #Nazisme #Shoah #une-sous

  • La fabrique des indésirables, par Michel Agier
    https://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2017/05/AGIER/57491 #st

    #Camps de #réfugiés ou de déplacés, campements de migrants, zones d’attente pour personnes en instance, camps de transit, centres de rétention ou de détention administrative, centres d’identification et d’expulsion, points de passage frontaliers, centres d’accueil de demandeurs d’asile, « ghettos », « jungles », hotspots... Ces mots occupent l’actualité de tous les pays depuis la fin des années 1990. Les camps ne sont pas seulement des lieux de vie quotidienne pour des millions de personnes ; ils deviennent l’une des composantes majeures de la « société mondiale », l’une des formes de gouvernement du monde : une manière de gérer l’indésirable.

  • Dossier | Un monde de camps (mai 2017)
    https://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2017/05/A/57510 #st

    La planète compte aujourd’hui soixante-cinq millions de #réfugiés et de déplacés. Faute de politiques d’accueil, un grand nombre d’entre eux sont contraints de vivre dans des #camps, sortes de prisons à ciel ouvert dont les résidents sont privés de droits fondamentaux. Longtemps confinées aux pays du Sud, ces structures prolifèrent et se banalisent en Europe depuis quelques années, s’ajoutant aux centaines de centres de rétention administrative qui servaient déjà à enfermer les migrants clandestins. Par leur nombre et leur pérennité — le temps de séjour moyen dans un centre du Haut-Commissariat pour les réfugiés est de dix-sept ans —, les camps ont fini par représenter un marché que se disputent âprement organisations non gouvernementales et multinationales.

  • En Pologne, le ministère de l’intérieur propose un « camp de barbelés » pour #Réfugiés

    Le ministre de l’Intérieur polonais, #Mariusz_Błaszczak, a proposé ce jeudi un projet de décret concernant les conditions d’accueil des réfugiés en Pologne. Les demandeurs d’asile seraient systématiquement détenus dans des camps de conteneurs habitables, entourés de fils de fer barbelé. Le nouveau projet du ministre de l’Intérieur polonais Mariusz Błaszczak est conçu, selon ses mots, […]

    #Politique #Article_payant #Camps_de_détention #droits_de_l'homme #justice #Politique_carcérale #une-sous

  • #Life_Is_Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara

    Most people think that colonialism in Africa has ended. But in the territory of Western Sahara, the end of European rule only gave way to a new occupation, this time by Morocco. Four decades later, the world continues to look the other way as the Sahrawi people face arrests, torture, and disappearances for demanding their independence.

    Life Is Waiting, a new film by director Iara Lee, chronicles this struggle. What will it take for the people of Western Sahara to reverse decades of broken promises and gain their freedom? What lessons does Sahrawi resistance offer for nonviolent movements around the world? In Life Is Waiting, join an incredible cast of Sahrawi activists and artists as they offer their answers.

    #film #Sahara_occidental #camps_de_réfugiés #documentaire #réfugiés #Sahraoui #réfugiés_Sahraoui #résistance #art #Green_march #résistance_non-violente #non-violence #Polisario #Gdeim_Izik_camp #lutte_pacifique #murs #barrières_frontalières #mines #mines_anti-personnel #indépendance #Maroc

    Trailer: https://vimeo.com/123847322

    https://seenthis.net/messages/543591 via CDB_77

  • Calais : La loi de la #jungle

    Ils ne sont plus qu’à quelques kilomètres de leur rêve. Un rêve si proche, mais devenu presque inaccessible.
    Environ quatre mille migrants s’entassent dans la « Jungle » de Calais, un camp à l’est de cette ville du Nord de la France.
    Ils viennent de Syrie, d’Afghanistan, du Soudan ou de l’Erythrée, tous ont parcouru des milliers de kilomètres, risqué leurs vies, pour n’atteindre qu’un seul but : le Royaume-Uni, leur eldorado.
    Ces exilés pensaient n’avoir que la Manche à traverser, mais une autre mer les attend, plus redoutable et menaçante : une mer de barrières et de barbelés. Ils sont pourtant des dizaines à l’affronter, chaque soir, pour tenter d’attraper un train de marchandises, direction Londres. Malgré la peur, les accidents, parfois la mort.


    #Calais #vidéo #film #encampement #camps #asile #migrations #réfugiés #viols (pendant le voyage)

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  • Moral Agency on the Haitian-Dominican Border

    With the conditions that I witnessed in the refugee camps in Anse-a-Pitres, it was not hard to predict that cholera could hit the camps and that an adequate medical response was probably not going to happen. I saw people in the camps drinking untreated water straight from the river reservoir. And I saw no preparations being made to develop and sustain an adequate Cholera Treatment Center (CTC) in Anse-a-Pitres.

    During the last six weeks cholera HAS hit the camps in Anse-a-Pitres. And cholera is crossing the border into the Dominican Republic once again.

    #choléra #Haiti #santé #camps

    http://seenthis.net/messages/441254 via Fil

  • Dadaab, #Kenya / The Other Refugee Crisis - The New York Times

    Dadaab in 2011. The camp was established in 1991 as a temporary refuge for around 90,000 people fleeing Somalia’s civil war. Today it is home to half a million.


    the world needs to adjust to the new reality of permanent refugee cities in legal limbo. Even if host nations wish to deny citizenship to long-staying refugees, it would make sense to allow the United Nations and refugees themselves to invest in infrastructure to reduce disease, provide employment and make these ramshackle slums more habitable. They could perhaps become autonomous open cities or international zones where those with United Nations documents were permitted to move and trade within the normal international visa regime. If camps were economically viable they might at least offer some pull to remain there. As one man told me as I was nearing the end of my time in Dadaab: “I belong nowhere. My country is the Republic of Refugee.”

    #réfugiés #camps #photographie

    http://seenthis.net/messages/416839 via Fil