Executive Summary for July 25th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including the German army training refugees to “rebuild” Syria, the displacement of over 8,300 refugees from South Sudan in one day and a migrant protest march from Belgrade to the Hungarian border.

Published on July 25, 2016 Read time Approx. 3 minutes

Germany Training More Than 100 Refugees to Help “Rebuild Syria”

The Germany army has begun a pilot project to train more than 100 Syrian refugees in civilian roles that could help them rebuild their country, Germany’s defense minister Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement last week.

The army is training refugees in a variety of areas including technology, medicine and logistics, so that “one day they can return to Syria and help with the reconstruction effort,” she said, according to Reuters.

“If, one day, there is a peaceful responsible government [in Syria], then we could also imagine supporting, along with other partner nations, the training of security forces,” Von der Leyen said.

Syrian refugees are allowed to carry out civilian tasks for the German military, but are ineligible to become soldiers, she added.

Over 8,300 South Sudanese Flee to Uganda in One Day

More than 8,300 South Sudanese refugees fled to neighboring Uganda last Thursday, setting a single-day record for this year, the UNHCR said on Friday.

An estimated 26,500 South Sudanese have been displaced since fighting between rival forces erupted on July 7, UNHCR spokesperson Andreas Needham told reporters in Geneva, adding that more than 90 percent of those are women and children.

The influx is severely stretching the capacity of collection points, transit centers and reception centers, he said.

“At the moment humanitarian organizations are coping, but just about,” UNHCR spokesperson Charles Yaxley told Reuters.

Humanitarian groups working in the Ugandan border town of Elegu told local media that 10,000 refugees are staying at a reception center meant to hold 1,000, adding that urgent intervention is needed to improve sanitation standards at the center following the influx.

More than 10,000 people have died and 2 million others have been forced to flee their homes since 2013 due to ethnically charged fighting, triggered when South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir fired Vice President Riek Machar.

Hundreds of Migrants March from Belgrade to Serbia-Hungary Border

Dozens of refugees and asylum seekers reached the Hungary-Serbia border on Sunday after marching for two days from the Serbian capital in protest against Hungary’s closed borders, reported Al-Jazeera.

More than 300 young men, mostly from Afghanistan and Pakistan, set off Friday from Belgrade toward the Hungarian border 120 miles (195km) away, reported the Associated Press. Many gave up due to the heat, while others traveled part of the way by train.

“I have a message for E.U. leaders, I want to go to the border and stay and ask why you closed the border,” said 19-year-old Mohammad Amin from Afghanistan.

The group also announced a hunger strike on Friday, Vladimir Sjekloca, a manager of Belgrade’s Asylum Info Centre, told Reuters. “They want to go to Hungary, they want borders open,” he said.

Hungary introduced new stricter border control measures on July 5. Only a maximum of 30 people are allowed to enter Hungary each day, creating a bottleneck in Serbia. As many as 3,000 migrants are stuck in the country, Aleksandar Vulin, Serbia’s minister for social affairs, told local media sources on Friday.

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