UN OCHA Syria Confirms Resettlement Of Rukban Camp Dwellers Ongoing

DAMASCUS (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 28th September, 2019) Resettlement of remaining residents of the Rukban refugee camp, located within the US-controlled zone around its unauthorized military base in Syria's At Tanf, continues, Hedinn Halldorsson, a spokesman for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told Sputnik on Friday.

The operation to finally disband the Rukban refugee camp in Syria started earlier in the day. According to Maj. Gen. Alexey Bakin, the head of the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation, the operational plan of the United Nations and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) envisages extracting the remaining inhabitants in groups of 3,000-3,5000 people within 30 days since the beginning of operation.

"All I can say is to confirm that the joint UN/SARC operation of assisting voluntary departures from Rukban is ongoing. We'll send out further info in coming days but that's it for the time being due to security and operational reasons," Halldorsson said.

He noted that at the moment he could not provide additional information for security reasons.

The Rukban camp houses thousands of refugees in conditions described by the World Health Organization as "deplorable" lacking food, access to medical care and basic amenities. The camp is located in the US-controlled zone around its unauthorized military base at At Tanf, making it hard for humanitarian workers to access the area.

The Syrian government and the Russian reconciliation center have been assisting those wishing to leave the camp. Back in August, Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dmitry Polyanskiy said that over 17,000 civilians had already left the camp with the assistance of Moscow and Damascus.