Executive Summary for February 27th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including the U.N. raising the death toll from a refugee protest in Rwanda, a Polish government proposal to educate refugees separately and Erdogan claiming refugees will return to Syria after Turkish operations end.

Published on Feb. 27, 2018 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Congolese Refugee Protest Death Toll Raised to 11

The United Nations raised the death toll of Congolese refugee protesters in Rwanda to 11. The refugees were protesting their deteriorating conditions outside the U.N. refugee agency offices.

Rwandan police initially reported five deaths last week after the refugees marched 10 miles (16km) from Kiziba refugee camp to UNHCR’s office in Kibuye in western Rwanda.

Police used tear gas and live ammunition on the protesters on February 22. UNHCR’s Daniela Ionita said that 11 refugees were killed in Kiziba and Kibuye and urged Rwanda to investigate.

Poland Proposes Separate Classes for Refugee Children

The Polish government plans to allow local authorities to choose whether to integrate refugee children into public schools or educate them separately in refugee centers.

“Some foreign children do not learn despite attending school because they have educational gaps compared to their Polish peer[s] and so struggle to catch up with school material,” said the interior ministry proposal. “These factors may have a negative and demotivating effect not only on foreign children, who are reluctant to go to school, but also on Polish children.”

Polish newspaper Dziennik Gazeta Prawna warned the plan would create an “educational ghetto for refugees.”

Poland’s government is led by the nationalist Law and Justice, which has refused to take in refugees relocated from elsewhere in Europe and taken a tough line on asylum seekers in the country, most of whom come from the Russian republic of Chechnya.

Erdogan Claims Refugees Will Return After Turkish Operation Ends

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed refugees would be able to return to Syria once Turkey completes its military operation in northern Syria.

Turkey launched military operations against Kurdish-led forces in the Afrin district last month. The president was reiterating earlier calls for Turkey’s 3 million Syrian refugees to return.

Turkish prime minister Binali Yildirim claimed around 350,000 refugees from Afrin were living in Turkey and that they soon “will return to their soil and they will continue their lives in peace there.”

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