U.N. to Deliver Aid to Syrians Stranded on Jordan Border
After two months without aid, supplies should finally reach more than 70,000 Syrians stuck in a Jordanian border zone known as the “berm” by late next week.
Jordan declared the area a closed military zone after a suicide bomb attack in June, cutting off supplies to the refugees, and aid groups have warned of growing hunger and disease.
Following months of negotiations with Jordan, U.N. aid should reach the community by October 16, the U.N. resident and humanitarian coordinator in Jordan, Edward Kallon, told Reuters.
He said the aid includes food, water and basic health and non-food supplies, and that he hoped the deliveries would continue on an ongoing basis.
A provisional agreement, obtained by IRIN News, reveals new conditions for the aid deliveries. Jordan wants to encourage refugees to move away from the border, so the aid distribution point will be moved 7km (4.3 miles) northwest. It will guarded by Syrian security guards trained in Jordan.
However, Syrians at the border are reluctant to leave the relative security of the Jordanian border or move closer to the fighting inside Syria and have recently staged a protest against the proposals.
E.U. Pushes Forward With Effort to Curb Migration From Africa
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Italy would like the E.U. to replicate its Turkish deal with African nations to curb migrant crossings to Europe.
“We need to have similar agreement to solve, or at least manage, migration flows from Africa,” Gentiloni said of the E.U.-Turkey deal during a visit to Ankara.
German chancellor Angela Merkel has championed the idea of the E.U.-Turkey deal being a model for agreements with African countries.
Under the March agreement, the E.U. sends people arriving by boat back to Turkey in exchange for resettling refugees directly from the country. The E.U. also pledged billions in aid, in addition to visa-free travel and possible E.U membership, to Turkey as part of the agreement.
Merkel is traveling to Mali, Niger and Ethiopia next week, before hosting the leaders of Chad and Nigeria in Berlin as part of her effort to stem African migrant flows to Europe.
Gunmen Kill Soldiers Guarding Refugee Camp in Niger
Dozens of armed men attacked a refugee camp in Niger, killing 22 soldiers who were guarding the camp.
A security official told Agence France-Presse that the assailants appeared to be Tuareg-speaking “jihadists,” who targeted the camp’s security post with machine guns while the guards were eating lunch on October 6.
The camp in Tazalit is home to some 4,000 refugees from neighboring Mali, where Islamist militants and Tuareg separatists are battling Malian and international forces.
There are around 60,000 Malian refugees in Niger, according to the U.N. refugee agency.
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