Lebanon Urges UNCHR to Provide Data on Syrian Refugees

Syrian refugees in Lebanon, 2024. Photo: X/ @AmericanSyrians

June 19, 2024 Hour: 9:08 am

The authorities request data related to the names of refugees, their registration dates in Lebanon, and their regions of origin.

On Wednesday, Elias al-Baysari, director of Lebanon’s General Security, said that his country will implement a new plan to solve the Syrian refugee crisis if the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) continues to delay the delivery of data on Syrian refugees in the country.


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“We asked the UNHCR again to provide us with complete data about refugees present on our lands; if not provided, we will implement a plan B, which has become ready now,” al-Baysari said at a cabinet meeting.

In August 2023, Lebanon concluded an agreement with the UNHCR to share data related to all Syrian refugees in Lebanon. To this date, however, the UNHCR has not delivered the data, which include the names of Syrian refugees, their registration dates in Lebanon, and their specific regions of origin in Syria.

Al-Baysari’s Plan B includes setting up a data center to count the number of Syrian displaced individuals in Lebanon, establishing detention centers to apprehend offenders and repatriate them, and mandating Syrian refugees registered before 2015 to visit security centers for application completion.

Lebanese authorities have on many occasions urged the international community to assist Lebanon in returning Syrian refugees to their country. The Lebanese government estimates that the country hosts about 2 million Syrian refugees, which weighs heavily on the country’s infrastructure.

The request from the Lebanese authorities occurs amid the tensions that the massive migration of Syrians generates within Lebanon. Last week, Lebanese Forces party chief Samir Geagea threatened legal action to close UNHCR in the country if cooperation on the Syrian refugee issue does not improve.

“Lebanon suffers from serious crises and problems, especially the presence of illegal Syrians, who represent approximately 45 percent of the country’s total population,” Geagea said, as reported by ANHA Hawar news agency.

The Lebanese politician claims that the UNHCR is trying to integrate Syrians into Lebanese society instead of resettling them in a third country or returning them to Syria. Geagea also accuses the UN agency of exceeding its authority by issuing refugee cards to Syrians.

Source: Xinhua – ANHA Hawar

teleSUR/ JF

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