• Les Yéménites oubliés

    Parmi les quelque deux cent mille personnes qui ont fui le Yémen, quinze mille se trouvent en #Jordanie où elles bénéficient d’une aide dérisoire. La Chaîne du bonheur récolte ce jeudi des dons pour le Yémen.

    Dans la difficulté, ils se sont regroupés. A Amman, la capitale de la Jordanie, les réfugiés yéménites fréquentent les mêmes restaurants, les mêmes mosquées et les mêmes commerces. « Nous nous entraidons parce que nous sommes loin de chez nous. Ce restaurant nous nourrit gratuitement », se réjouit Tahar*, un Yéménite de 47 ans, assis sur les tapis élimés d’un établissement d’Al Baladiyah, un quartier nord d’Amman. Il a fui le Yémen en 2011. Il y est revenu à plusieurs reprises mais a finalement décidé de rester en Jordanie, loin de sa femme et de ses enfants. Ayant servi dans l’armée de son pays, Tahar craint d’être pris pour cible par les forces houthis s’il s’établissait à nouveau au Yémen.

    Environ 15’000 Yéménites ont été enregistrés par le Haut Commissariat aux réfugiés (HCR) en Jordanie, dont le tiers l’an dernier. Comme Tahar, la plupart sont des hommes venus seuls et ils vivent à Amman. Officiellement, beaucoup sont arrivés en Jordanie pour suivre un traitement médical ou faire du tourisme. Puis ils y sont restés afin d’obtenir le statut de réfugié. Chaque année, à l’approche de l’hiver, le HCR leur verse une aide financière. Douze mille cinq cents personnes en ont bénéficié l’an dernier. « Le montant se situe autour de 270 dinars [380 francs] et varie selon le nombre de personnes dans le foyer », détaille Mohammad, un autre réfugié assis à la même table que Tahar.
    Coûteux permis de travail

    Cette somme ne suffit pas à couvrir les besoins annuels d’un foyer dans un pays comme la Jordanie où les prix des produits de première nécessité et les loyers sont élevés. Les réfugiés yéménites doivent donc travailler. « Chaque fois que je trouve un emploi dans un restaurant, on me demande mon permis de travail. Et sans ce document, on m’engage rarement », regrette Mansour, 39 ans, un habitué du restaurant d’Al Baladiyah.

    En théorie, Tahar, Mohammad et Mansour peuvent obtenir un permis de travail. Mais dans les faits, le sésame leur est difficilement accessible puisqu’il coûte entre 500 et 600 dinars, soit 700 à 850 francs, selon le secteur d’activité. S’il parvenait à économiser, Mansour affirme qu’il enverrait le peu qu’il aurait réussi à épargner à sa famille restée au Yémen. Il ne verserait pas ce précieux pécule au Ministère jordanien du travail.

    Dans ces conditions, ces réfugiés n’ont d’autre choix que de vivre au crochet des autres et de travailler illégalement quand l’opportunité se présente. Mansour exerce occasionnellement dans des restaurants. « Je regarde alors souvent autour de moi pour vérifier que des contrôleurs du Ministère du travail ne sont pas dans les environs. Ils sont déjà venus sur mon lieu de travail et j’ai dû m’enfuir », se souvient-il. En cas d’interpellation, le Ministère assure qu’il n’expulse pas le travailleur yéménite – qu’il ait le statut de réfugié ou pas – et qu’il se contente d’un rappel à la loi à l’employeur, voire d’une amende si ce dernier récidive. Cela dissuade bien sûr les patrons d’engager des Yéménites. « Après une courte période d’activité, on me remercie, relate Mansour. La Jordanie donne en fait la priorité à ses ressortissants sur le marché du travail. »
    Syriens oui, Yéménites non

    Cette préférence nationale s’explique par le haut niveau de chômage. Officiellement, 19% de la population active est à la recherche d’un emploi en Jordanie. Mais cette mise à l’écart des Yéménites interroge, dans la mesure où d’autres réfugiés, bien plus nombreux, peuvent obtenir gratuitement un permis de travail. Plus d’un million de Syriens, soit 10% de la population en Jordanie, peuvent exercer librement dans différents secteurs d’activité, comme l’agriculture, l’hôtellerie et la construction. Pourquoi pas les Yéménites ? « Nous traitons les Syriens comme des réfugiés, pas les Yéménites, justifie Mohammad Alkhateeb, porte-parole du Ministère jordanien du travail. Officiellement, ils sont venus chez nous en visite, pas en tant que réfugiés. » La reconnaissance de leur statut par le HCR n’a pas infléchi la position gouvernementale à ce sujet.

    Le fonctionnaire reconnaît qu’ils ne sont pas traités à égalité avec les Syriens. « Peut-être que personne n’écoute leur voix parce qu’ils ne sont pas plus de 15’000 », se hasarde-t-il. Le gouvernement jordanien peut décider de rendre gratuit le permis de travail pour certains ressortissants. Interrogés sur leurs intentions, le bureau du premier ministre, Omar Razzaz, ainsi que le Ministère jordanien des affaires étrangères n’ont pas donné suite aux sollicitations du Courrier.
    Une politique internationale

    La précarité des Yéménites s’explique aussi par la politique discriminatoire des bailleurs de fonds qui financent l’aide humanitaire au Moyen-Orient. Beaucoup se détournent de la crise yéménite, qui a fait moins de réfugiés que le conflit syrien, et dont les victimes sont donc moins visibles. De fait, la presse internationale a longtemps ignoré la guerre au Yémen. De son côté, le HCR souhaite soutenir les réfugiés en Jordanie sans condition de nationalité.

    « Mais cette approche est de plus en plus difficile à tenir car nos financements sont souvent assignés à la crise syrienne, analyse Lilly Carlisle, porte-parole du HCR à Amman. Nous ne pouvons donc pas dépenser cet argent pour des populations qui ne sont pas syriennes. » Pour le moment, seul 1% des besoins du HCR pour les réfugiés non syriens de Jordanie est financé pour cette année, notamment grâce à des contributions des Pays-Bas.

    Sans emploi stable et sans perspective intéressante en Jordanie, beaucoup espèrent se réinstaller dans des pays tiers. Les offres d’accueil sont rarissimes. « En 2018, onze réfugiés yéménites de Jordanie sont partis vivre au Royaume-Uni, trois au Canada et un aux Pays-Bas », reprend Lilly Carlisle, qui regrette la priorité donnée sur ce dossier à certaines nationalités, et le préjudice subi par d’autres. Quatre mille cinq cents Syriens aujourd’hui établis en Jordanie devraient être relocalisés dans des pays développés en 2019.

    Reste l’éventualité du retour au pays, une option fort périlleuse, que considère Zohra. Cette grand-mère yéménite ne parvient plus à payer son loyer à Amman. Elle craint d’être expulsée. « Je vais mourir ici, se lamente-t-elle dans un sanglot. Alors autant rentrer dans mon pays. Et je mourrai là-bas. »


    https://lecourrier.ch/2019/03/27/les-yemenites-oublies
    #réfugiés_yéménites #discriminations #catégorisation #tri #réfugiés_syriens #asile #migrations #réfugiés #urban_refugees #réfugiés_urbains #Amman #travail

  • Amman, d’une crue à l’autre. Littérature et géographie | Rumor
    https://rumor.hypotheses.org/?p=4663

    Les réseaux sociaux auxquels je suis connecté ont relayé les images spectaculaires d’une #crue qui a noyé la ville basse d’Amman jeudi 27 février, suscitant les habituelles dénonciations de l’incurie des autorités municipalités.
    https://www.facebook.com/er.verdeil/posts/2095142227227987

    Ces scènes de rues submergées d’eaux boueuses, et de l’amphithéatre romain transformée en piscine, ont réveillé en moi un souvenir littéraire dont la qualité poétique et dramatique n’a d’égale que sa valeur géographique. Il s’agit des souvenirs du jeune Abdel Rahman Mounif qui grandit dans cette ville dans les années 1940. Le chapitre IX de son récit Une ville dans la mémoire. #Amman (en arabe Sirat Amman), traduit par Eric Gautier dans une collection d’Actes Sud-Sindbad dirigée par Yves Gonzalès Quijano (@gonzo) propose une puissante évocation de la crue qui frappe la ville en 1943, après une fine présentation d’un paysage fluviatile aujourd’hui disparu.

  • Heat: the next big inequality issue | Cities | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/aug/13/heat-next-big-inequality-issue-heatwaves-world

    But air conditioning will remain out of reach for many, even as it increasingly becomes a necessity. In 2014, Public Health England raised concerns that “the distribution of cooling systems may reflect socioeconomic inequalities unless they are heavily subsidised,” adding that rising fuel costs could further exacerbate this. And when we need to use less energy and cool the planet, not just our homes and offices, relying upon air conditioning is not a viable long-term plan – and certainly not for everyone.

    ‘In Cairo everything is suffocating’


    Most of the research into heatwaves and public health has focused on western countries; Benmarhnia says more studies have been done on the city of Phoenix, Arizona, than the entire continent of Africa. But the problem is global, and especially pronounced across urban slums such as the ashwiyyat in Cairo, where temperatures during the city’s five-month-long summers have peaked at 46C (115F).

    Traditionally Egyptians built low buildings close together, forming dense networks of shaded alleyways where people could keep cool during summer. But the rapid construction of high-rises and decreasing green spaces have made one of the fastest-growing cities in the world increasingly stifling. Subsidy cuts have brought about a rise of 18-42% in electricity costs, affecting many poor residents’ options for cooling down.

    Um Hamad, 41, works as a cleaner and lives with his family in a small flat in Musturad in the city’s north. Though he considers them lucky to live on the relatively cool first floor, “in Cairo everything is suffocating”, he says. Hamad use fans and water to keep cool inside, but the water bill is becoming expensive . “There’s always that trick of sleeping on the floor, and we wear cotton clothes ,” he says. “The temperatures are harder to deal with for women who wear the hijab, so I always tell my daughters to wear only two layers and to wear bright colours.”

    In a tight-knit cluster of urban dwellings in Giza, to Cairo’s south, Yassin Al-Ouqba, 42, a train maintenance worker, lives in a house built from a mixture of bricks and mud-bricks. In August, he says, it becomes “like an oven”. “I have a fan and I place it in front of a plate of ice so that it spreads cold air throughout the room. I spread cold water all over the sheets.”

    Compounding the threat posed by the changing climate is the refugee crisis. The two are intimately linked, with extreme weather events often a factor in social, political and economic instability. A paper published in the journal Science in December found that if greenhouse gas emissions were not meaningfully reduced global asylum applications would increase by almost 200% by the end of the century.

    On a plain north of Amman, some 80,000 Syrians live in the Za’atari refugee camp, a semi-permanent urban settlement set up six years ago and now considered Jordan’s fourth-largest city. Hamda Al-Marzouq, 27, arrived three years ago, fleeing airstrikes on her neighbourhood in the outskirts of Damascus.

    Her husband had gone missing during the war, and she was desperate to save her young son and extended family. Eight of them now live in a prefabricated shelter, essentially a large metal box, which Al-Marzouq says turns into an oven during the summer.

    It’s suffocating. We soak the towels and try to breathe through them

    Hamda Al-Marzouq, Za’atari camp resident
    “It’s a desert area, and we’re suffering,” she says by phone from the camp. “We have different ways of coping. We wake in the early morning and soak the floor with water. Then we sprinkle water on ourselves.” There is no daytime electricity, so fans are useless. When power does arrive at night, the desert has already cooled.

    Many days, her family will wait until the evening to walk outside, wrapping wet towels around their heads. But the biggest problem are sandstorms, which can arrive violently during the summer months and engulf the camp for days. “We have to close the caravan windows,” she says, adding the room then gets hotter. “It’s suffocating. We soak the towels and try to breathe through them.”

    Al-Marzouq’s five-year-old son suffers respiratory problems and keeps getting infections, while asthma is rife across the camp.

    Water has also been an issue, with demand in northern Jordan – one of the most water-scarce countries in the world – surging following the refugee arrivals. A Unicef-led operation will see all households connected to a water network by October, which Al-Marzouq says has been a significant help.

    “We used to collect water with jerry cans and had to carry it for long distances. Now, with the water network being operational, things are much easier. We don’t have to fight in a long queue to get our share of water. Now there is equity.”

    #climat #Amman #Le_Caire #réfugiés

  • Amman appelle Israël à juger le garde de son ambassade ayant tué deux Jordaniens
    L’Express | Par AFP | publié le 27/07/2017
    http://www.lexpress.fr/actualites/1/monde/amman-appelle-israel-a-juger-le-garde-de-son-ambassade-ayant-tue-deux-jorda

    Amman - Le roi Abdallah II de Jordanie a appelé jeudi le Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu à faire juger un garde de l’ambassade d’Amman qui avait ouvert le feu et tué deux Jordaniens dimanche, selon une source gouvernementale.

    Le souverain hachémite, qui s’exprimait au cours d’une réunion avec de hauts responsables jordaniens, a appelé M. Netanyahu à « assumer ses responsabilités et prendre les mesures légales nécessaires pour juger le meurtrier », selon la même source.

    La Jordanie et Israël sont liés par un traité de paix signé en 1994.

    Le roi a critiqué la manière dont le garde avait été chaleureusement accueilli comme un héros par le Premier ministre israélien qui l’avait embrassé à son retour d’Amman.

    « Nous sommes heureux de te voir ici et de voir que tout est fini (...) Tu as bien agi et calmement (...) Tu représentes l’Etat d’Israël et l’Etat d’Israël ne l’oublie jamais », a dit M. Netanyahu au garde qu’il a rencontré mardi, selon les médias israéliens.

    « Ce comportement provocateur, nous le refusons totalement (...) Il nourrit l’extrémisme », a dénoncé le roi Abdallah de Jordanie.

    « Un membre de l’ambassade d’Israël à Amman a ouvert le feu sur deux de nos citoyens. L’Etat jordanien fera tout son possible pour leur rendre justice », a prévenu le souverain hachémite.

    Il a mis en garde Israël, affirmant que son attitude dans cette affaire aurait un « impact direct » sur la nature des relations entre les deux pays.

    Des milliers de Jordaniens avaient crié « mort à Israël » mardi lors des funérailles d’une des deux victimes jordaniennes. (...)

    #Unpeutard #Amman #Ziv

    • La Jordanie inculperait de meurtre le garde de sécurité de l’ambassade israélienne par contumace
      Le garde de sécurité israélien avait été attaqué ; Amman menace d’une procédure juridique internationale
      Times of Israel Staff 28 juillet 2017, 11:31
      http://fr.timesofisrael.com/la-jordanie-inculperait-de-meurtre-le-garde-de-securite-de-lambass

      Le garde de sécurité de l’ambassade israélienne en Jordanie qui aurait tué deux Jordaniens dans l’enceinte diplomatique d’Amman après avoir été attaqué au couteau par l’un d’eux aurait été inculpé de meurtre par contumace.

      Le procureur-général de Jordanie Akram Masaadeh a déclaré à l’agence de presse jordanienne que son bureau avait terminé l’enquête portant sur l’incident de dimanche au cours duquel Mohammad Jawawdeh, âgé de 17 ans, et Bashar Hamarneh ont été tués, selon une traduction offerte par le quotidien Al Ghad.

      Il a inculpé le garde, Ziv, dont le nom de famille reste sous ordonnance de non publication et qui se trouve dorénavant en Israël, de deux chefs d’accusation de meurtre et de possession d’une arme sans autorisation préalable.

      Masaadeh a indiqué que l’immunité diplomatique des employés n’empêcherait ni son inculpation, ni la tenue d’un procès en Israël.

      De plus, le gouvernement a chargé le ministre de la Justice Awad Abu Jarad « de mener à bien la justice pénale », a rapporté le Jordan Times.

    • Not Without Dignity: Views of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon on Displacement, Conditions of Return, and Coexistence

      Discussions about a future return of refugees and coexistence among groups currently at war in Syria must begin now, even in the face of ongoing violence and displacement. This report, based on interviews with refugees, makes it clear that the restoration of dignity will be important to creating the necessary conditions for return and peaceful coexistence — and building a stable post-war Syria one day.


      https://www.ictj.org/publication/syria-refugees-lebanon-displacement-return-coexistence
      #rapport

    • New ICTJ Study: Syrian Refugees in Lebanon See Security, Restoration of Dignity as Key Conditions for Return

      A new report from the International Center for Transitional Justice argues that discussions about a future return of refugees and coexistence among groups currently at war in Syria must begin now, even in the face of ongoing violence and displacement. The report makes it clear that the restoration of refugees’ sense of dignity will be important to creating the necessary conditions for return and peaceful coexistence — and building a stable post-war Syria one day.

      https://www.ictj.org/news/study-syrian-refugees-lebanon-conditions-return

    • We Must Start the Conversation About Return of Syrian Refugees Now

      If millions of displaced Syrians are to go home one day, we need to understand refugees’ conditions for returning, attitudes to justice and the possibility of coexistence, say the authors of an International Center for Transitional Justice study of refugees in Lebanon.

      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2017/06/21/we-must-start-the-conversation-about-return-of-syrian-refugees-now

    • Nowhere Left to Run: Refugee Evictions in Lebanon in Shadow of Return

      Lebanon wants to evict 12,000 refugees who live near an air base where foreign military assistance is delivered. The evictions, which began in spring and recently resumed after a short respite, have left refugees more vulnerable amid rising demands they return to Syria.


      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/articles/2017/09/28/nowhere-left-to-run-refugee-evictions-in-lebanon-in-shadow-of-return
      #Liban

    • Syrian Refugees Return From Lebanon Only to Flee War Yet Again

      Refugees who returned to Syria from Lebanon under cease-fire deals this summer have been displaced again by fighting. Those who stayed behind are pressing for international guarantees of safety on return, as Lebanese officials explore ways to get more refugees to leave.


      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/articles/2017/10/11/syrian-refugees-return-from-lebanon-only-to-flee-war-yet-again

    • Dangerous Exit: Who Controls How Syrians in Lebanon Go Home

      AS HALIMA clambered into a truck leaving Lebanon in late June, she resolved that if the men driving the vehicle were arrested at the Syrian border, she would get out and walk back to her village on her own. The 66-year-old grandmother had not seen the son and daughter she left behind in Syria for five years. Wearing an embroidered black dress and a traditional headdress, her crinkled eyes shone with determination. “I’m coming back to my land,” she said.

      Having begged her not to leave, Halima’s two daughters staying in Lebanon wept on her shoulders. “We’re afraid she won’t come back,” 42-year-old Sherifa said, as her voice cracked. Sherifa cannot follow her mother to Syria; her eldest son, who has single-handedly kept the family afloat with odd jobs because of his father’s disability, would be sent to war.

      Huddled in groups at the checkpoint in northeast Lebanon, other families also said their goodbyes. A teenage girl knelt on the dirt road, refusing to let go of her 19-year-old brother’s legs. Their mother, Nawal, held her as he left for a truck to the border. “I don’t know how he will live on his own in Syria. Only God knows what will happen to him,” Nawal said. “I didn’t think he would actually leave. It all happened very fast.”

      A few months earlier, 3,000 Syrians in the Lebanese border town of Arsal had registered their names with Syrian and Lebanese intelligence agencies to return to their villages just over the mountains in Syria’s Qalamoun region. When the first group of several hundred people was approved to leave on June 28, many families were separated, as some members either decided not to register or were not approved by Syrian authorities.

      “We need a political solution for these people to go back, but the politics doesn’t start here in Lebanon,” a Lebanese intelligence agent said, as a scuffle broke out that scorching June morning. A Syrian man lunged at Khaled Abdel Aziz, a real estate businessman who had been put in charge of signing up fellow refugees to return. Abdel Aziz sweated in his suit as he dashed between television interviews, repeating that Syrians had a country of their own to go back to. “You’re protecting the army, not protecting yourself,” the man yelled, before being pulled away.

      The TV cameras rolled as dozens of trucks and tractors piled high with timber, water tanks and chicken coops were checked off a list by Lebanese intelligence agents and headed with an army escort to the Syrian border. A line of TV reporters announced to their Lebanese viewers that these refugees were going home.

      The next day, on the other side of Arsal, a small group of refugees held a sit-in, to much less fanfare. “We’re asking for return with dignity,” one banner read, “with guarantees from the international community and the U.N.”

      “We’re not against the return, but we want conditions, guarantees,” said Khaled Raad, one of the organizers. His refugee committee has been petitioning the U.N. and sympathetic Lebanese politicians for international protection for returning Syrians for a year. “I mean, this is not like taking a cup of tea or coffee to say, after seven years, go ahead and return to your houses. It’s not an easy thing.”

      “WE NEED A POLITICAL SOLUTION FOR THESE PEOPLE TO GO BACK, BUT THE POLITICS DOESN’T START HERE IN LEBANON.”

      By then, Halima had arrived back in Syria. Apart from some tractors breaking down en route, they had no problem crossing the border. Halima went to stay with her son while she waited to hear about the situation in her hometown, the mountaintop village of Fleeta. Her granddaughters had grown up quickly while she was in Lebanon, and she loved spending time with them in the neighboring town.

      But as more of their friends and relatives returned to Fleeta, with subsequent groups departing Arsal in July, word came to the family of empty homes and little power, water or work in the Syrian village. Sherifa received messages from relatives who had returned to Fleeta but now wanted to escape again. With no easy way to come back to Lebanon legally, they planned to smuggle themselves back across the border.

      Without her mother, and with bad news from Fleeta making it less likely she would ever return to Syria, Sherifa became increasingly desperate. Her husband, who is unable to work for health reasons, sunk into depression. “By God, dying is better than living,” Sherifa said. “I seek refuge in God from this return.”

      LONGING FOR HOME, AFRAID TO RETURN
      RETURNING TO SYRIA during this eighth year of conflict is both an excruciating personal decision and a political calculation: by refugees, the government in Syria, and other nations with a stake in the war. As the government recaptures more territory from opposition groups, and fighting quells in certain areas, some refugees are considering returning, while others are terrified of the increasing pressure to go back. After Lebanon began organizing small group returns this year, including from Arsal, these dilemmas became more urgent.

      To return is to take a political gamble: Refugees must weigh the risks of staying against the risks of going. They try to figure out who can be trusted to tell them the truth. They gather snippets of information from their cities, towns and villages about what happens to people who return. They struggle to decipher the intentions of the mercurial and multi-layered Syrian authorities and their foreign allies.

      Some of the broader dangers are well-known: an estimated half a million people killed in Syria’s war, including thousands dead this year; some one million people forced to leave their homes this year alone; a third of all houses and half of all schools and hospitals damaged or destroyed; in government-controlled areas, mandatory conscription into battle for men under 43, fear of arrest and torture, and the difficulties of reintegrating into a society and economy fractured by war.

      Until now, few refugees have considered this a risk worth taking. In 2017, the U.N. said 77,300 refugees went back independently to Syria, out of 5.6 million who had fled the country. The vast majority of Syrian refugees have consistently told U.N. and independent surveys they hoped to return home one day, but do not yet feel safe to do so.

      There are also risks to staying. More than 80 percent of Syrian refugees remain in three neighboring countries: Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. There, they face soaring poverty, years out of work or school, lack of official documents, risk of arrest and, above all, an increasing public clamoring for Syrians to be sent back.

      In Lebanon, where at least 1.5 million Syrians have sought refuge – increasing the country’s population by a quarter – the pressure to leave is the most intense. Few Syrians have legal status, even fewer can work. Many towns have imposed curfews or carried out mass evictions. At the U.N. General Assembly last year, Lebanon’s president Michel Aoun insisted Syrians must return, voluntarily or not. “The claim that they will not be safe should they return to their country is an unacceptable pretext,” he told world leaders.

      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/articles/2018/08/08/dangerous-exit-who-controls-how-syrians-in-lebanon-go-home
      #Liban

    • Turkish minister: 255,300 Syrian refugees have returned home

      Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Sunday that 255,300 Syrian refugees have returned home over the past two years, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

      “Some 160,000 of them returned to the Euphrates Shield region after Turkey brought peace there,” added Soylu, speaking to reporters in the southern province of Hatay bordering Syria.

      Turkey carried out Operation Euphrates Shield between August 2016 and March 2017 to eliminate the terrorist threat along the border in the northern Syrian regions of Jarabulus, Al-Rai, Al-Bab and Azaz with the help of the Free Syrian Army.

      Expressing concern about a possible operation in the Idlib region of Syria by regime forces, the minister underlined that Turkey would not be responsible for a wave of migration in the event of an offensive.

      Soylu also noted that an average of 6,800 irregular migrants a day used to enter Greece from western Turkey in 2015 and that now it has been reduced to 79.

      https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/09/09/turkish-minister-255300-syrian-refugees-have-returned-home

    • The fate of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Between forced displacement and forced return

      Recent news reports have surfaced on a possible United States-Russia deal to arrange for the return of refugees to Syria—reports that coincided both with the announcement that thousands of Syrians have died in regime prisons, and with one of the worst massacres in the conflict, perpetrated by ISIS in the city of Swaida. The US-Russia deal has been welcomed by Lebanese politicians, particularly those who have been scheming to repatriate Syrians for years now. But, unsurprisingly, the absence of a clear and coherent strategy for repatriation by the Lebanese government puts Syrian refugees at grave risk.

      In June, UNHCR interviewed Syrian refugees in Arsal who had expressed their willingness to go back to Syria in order to verify that they had the documentation needed for return and to ensure they were fully aware of the conditions in their home country. In response, caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil accused the agency of impeding refugees’ free return and ordered a freeze on the renewal of agency staff residency permits.

      This tug of war raises two main questions: What are the conditions in Lebanon that are pushing refugees toward returning to Syria while the conflict is ongoing and dangers persist? And what are the obstacles preventing some Syrians from returning freely to their homes?

      Conditions for Syrians in Lebanon

      Syrians began fleeing to Lebanon as early as 2011, but the Lebanese government failed to produce a single policy response until 2014, leading to ad-hoc practices by donors and host communities.

      By the end of 2014, the government began introducing policies to “reduce the number of displaced Syrians,” including closing the borders and requiring Syrians to either register with UNHCR and pledge not to work, or to secure a Lebanese sponsor to remain legally in the country and pay a $200 residency permit fee every six months. In May 2015, the government directed UNHCR to stop registering refugees. These conditions put many Syrians in a precarious position: without documentation, vulnerable to arrest and detention, and with limited mobility. Municipalities have been impeding freedom of movement as well, by imposing curfews on Syrians and even expelling them from their towns.

      In addition to the difficulties imposed by the state, Syrians face discrimination and violence on a day-to-day basis. Refugee settlements have been set on fire, Syrians have been beaten in the streets, and camps are regularly raided by the Lebanese army. All the while, Lebanese politicians foster and fuel the hatred of Syrians, blaming them for the country’s miseries and painting them as existential and security threats.

      Despite the polarization among Lebanese politicians regarding the situation in Syria, there is a consensus that the Syrian refugees are a burden that Lebanon cannot bear. Politicians across the board have been advocating for the immediate repatriation of refugees, and state officials are beginning to take action. President Michel Aoun made a statement in May declaring that Lebanon would seek a solution regarding the refugee crisis without taking into account the preferences of the UN or the European Union. This was followed by Bassil’s move, to freeze the residency permits of UNHCR staff, the leading agency (despite its many shortcomings) providing services for, and protecting the interests of, Syrian refugees. While UNHCR maintains that there are no safe zones in Syria as of yet, Lebanon’s General Security has begun facilitating the return of hundreds of refugees from Arsal and nearby towns. This process has been monitored by UNHCR to ensure that the returns are voluntary. Hezbollah has also established centers to organize the return of Syrians to their homes in collaboration with the Syrian regime.

      Syrian regime obstructing refugees’ free return

      As the situation for Syrian refugees in Lebanon becomes more and more unbearable, conditions for them back home remain troubling. Since 2012, the Syrian regime has been taking deliberate measures that would effectively make the situation for returning Syrians extremely difficult and dangerous.

      Conscription

      Syrian males aged 18 to 42 must serve in the Syrian Armed Forces. While exemptions were allowed in the past, a decree issued in 2017 bans exemptions from military service. Refusing to serve in the Syrian army results in imprisonment or an $8,000 fine, which most Syrians are unable to pay, thus risking having their assets seized by the regime.

      Property as a weapon of war

      Law No. 66 (2012) allowed for the creation of development zones in specified areas across the country. Under the pretense of redeveloping areas currently hosting informal settlements or unauthorized housing, the law is actually being used to expropriate land from residents in areas identified in the decree, which are mostly former opposition strongholds such as Daraya and Ghouta.

      Law No. 10 (2018), passed in April, speeds up the above process. This law stipulates the designation of development or reconstruction zones, requiring local authorities to request a list of property owners from public real estate authorities. Those whose have property within these zones but are not registered on the list are notified by local authorities and must present proof of property within 30 days. If they are successful in providing proof, they get shares of the redevelopment project; otherwise, ownership reverts to the local authority in the province, town, or city where the property is located. Human Rights Watch has published a detailed Q&A that explains the law and its implications.

      These laws, coupled with systematic destruction of land registries by local authorities, fully equip the regime to dispossess hundreds of thousands of Syrian families. Reports indicate that the regime has already begun reconstruction in areas south of Damascus.

      Statements by Syrian officials

      Syrian officials have made several public statements that reveal their hostility toward refugees. On August 20, 2017, at the opening ceremony of a conference held by Syria’s foreign ministry, President Bashar al-Assad gave a speech in which he said: “It’s true that we lost the best of our young men as well as our infrastructure, but in return we gained a healthier, more homogeneous society.” On another occasion, Assad stated his belief that some refugees are terrorists.

      In September 2017, a video of Issam Zahreddine, a commander in the Syrian Armed Forces, went viral. In the video, Zahreddine threatens refugees against returning, saying: “To everyone who fled Syria to other countries, please do not return. If the government forgives you, we will not. I advise you not to come back.” Zahreddine later clarified that his remarks were meant for rebels and ISIS followers, but that clarification should be taken with a grain of salt given his bloody track record in the war up until his death in October 2017. Along similar lines, leaked information from a meeting of top-ranking army officers just last month reported the following statement by the head of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence administration, General Jamil Al-Hassan: “A Syria with 10 million trustworthy people obedient to the leadership is better than a Syria with 30 million vandals.”

      Unknown fate

      Considering the unwelcoming policies in Lebanon and the treacherous conditions in Syria, what is the fate of Syrian refugees, specifically those who oppose the Assad regime? Until now, the return championed by Lebanese politicians implies return to a fascist regime that has caused the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War and unapologetically committed countless war crimes. While Lebanese politicians continue to focus on repatriation, they are failing to acknowledge the major barriers preventing Syrians from returning home: the Assad regime and ongoing mass violence.

      We cannot speak of safe, dignified, and sustainable returns without demanding justice and accountability. Regime change and trials for those who committed war crimes over the span of the last seven years are a long way off, and all evidence currently points toward the Assad regime retaining power. Any strategy must therefore prioritize the safety of Syrians who are likely to be detained, tortured, and killed for their political views upon return, or simply denied entry to Syria altogether. Lebanese policy makers must take into account that Syrians residing in Lebanon are not a homogenous entity, and some may never be able to return to their homes. Those Syrians should not be forced to choose between a brutal regime that will persecute them and a country that strips away their rights and dignity. It is time for Lebanon to adopt clear policies on asylum, resettlement, and return that ensure the right of all Syrians to lead a safe and dignified life.

      http://www.executive-magazine.com/economics-policy/the-fate-of-syrian-refugees-in-lebanon

    • Le retour des réfugiés en Syrie commence à préoccuper la communauté internationale

      Lors d’une conférence sur la Syrie à Bruxelles, le retour des réfugiés syriens dans leur pays a été évoqué. Démarrée en 2011, la guerre en Syrie touche à sa fin

      La situation en Syrie est loin d’être stabilisée. Les besoins de financement, de nourriture de matériel sont même en constante augmentation. Selon un haut fonctionnaire de l’ONU, un éventuel assaut contre la dernière enclave rebelle pourrait entraîner une « catastrophe humanitaire ». Pourtant, alors que 12 millions de Syriens, soit près de la moitié de la population syrienne avant la guerre, a fui le pays ou a été déplacée à l’intérieur, la question du retour, étape indispensable à la reconstruction, commence à se poser.

      C’est le principal message ressorti de la conférence « Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region » , qui vient de se tenir à Bruxelles. Les diplomates européens ont mis l’accent sur les difficultés de l’Europe à isoler le Président Bashar al-Assad, vainqueur de la guerre, soutenu par la Russie et l’Iran, pendant que les États-Unis retirent leurs troupes.

      L’UE a rappelé qu’un soutien à la reconstruction à long terme dépendrait du processus de paix de l’ONU pour mettre fin à une guerre responsable de la mort de centaines de milliers de personnes.

      Les Européens sont toutefois divisés sur la question de la reconstruction du pays, dans la mesure où le processus de paix de l’ONU est bloqué, que l’intervention militaire russe de 2015 s’avère décisive et que les pays arabes voisins envisagent de rétablir des liens diplomatiques.

      « Les États-Unis se retirent et les Russes n’ont pas l’argent. Voilà le contexte », a expliqué un haut fonctionnaire de l’UE, cité par Reuters. L’Allemagne, la France et les Pays-Bas défendent ouvertement l’idée de libérer les fonds de reconstruction uniquement quand le pays aura démarré sa transition politique et que Bashar-al-Assad ne sera plus au pouvoir. Aucun représentant officiel de la Syrie n’a été invité à la conférence. L’Italie, l’Autriche et la Hongrie, grands détracteurs de la politique migratoire européenne, plaident en revanche pour une négociation avec les autorités syriennes pour que les millions de réfugiés puissent rentrer chez eux.

      Mogherini craint le « ni guerre ni paix »

      La cheffe de la diplomatie européenne, Federica Mogherini, a déclaré qu’il y avait un risque que le pays se retrouve coincé dans une situation de « ni guerre ni paix ». Le Haut Commissaire des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés, Filippo Grandi, a déclaré qu’il était prévisible que 2019 soit la première année depuis le début de la guerre « où il y aura plus de Syriens (réfugiés et déplacés internes) qui rentreront chez eux que de nouveaux déplacés. S’étant rendu en Syrie la semaine dernière, le Haut Commissaire a déclaré avoir été « marqué et touché » par la résilience du peuple syrien.

      « C’est dans un contexte de grandes destructions, avec des zones encore dangereuses et un manque de produits de première nécessité (nourriture, médicaments, eau) et d’emplois que de nombreux Syriens rentrent chez eux. Les agences humanitaires font ce qu’elles peuvent, mais un très grand nombre de déplacés internes et quelques réfugiés prennent la décision difficile de rentrer chez eux, et les besoins en produits de première nécessité ne font qu’augmenter », a-t-il expliqué, ajoutant que la plupart des réfugiés voyaient leur avenir dans leur pays natal et que « nous savons que 56 000 Syriens sont rentrés chez eux via des mouvements organisés l’année dernière, mais ce chiffre est certainement plus élevé ».

      Engagements financiers

      « Je suis heureux de vous annoncer que nous collaborons notamment avec le gouvernement syrien. Et j’aimerais particulièrement remercier la Fédération de Russie pour sa coopération face aux problèmes que le retour des réfugiés syriens implique pour eux », a ajouté Filippo Grandi. Dans le cadre de l’appel de l’ONU, 3,3 milliards de dollars seraient nécessaires pour venir en aide aux déplacés internes et 5,5 milliards de dollars pour les réfugiés et les communautés d’accueil dans les pays voisins.

      Le Secrétaire général adjoint aux affaires humanitaires, Marc Lowcock, a déclaré à la presse que les engagements financiers s’élevaient « au moins à 6,5 milliards de dollars » et peut-être même à près de 7 milliards de dollars. « C’est un très bon résultat, et si nous y parvenons vraiment en fin de compte, nous serons très heureux », a-t-il déclaré. Federica Mogherini a déclaré que l’UE contribuerait à hauteur de 560 millions d’euros pour venir en aide au peuple syrien durant l’année 2019 et que le même montant serait libéré les années suivantes.

      Filippo Grandi a également exprimé son inquiétude quant à la situation en déclin de la ville d’Idlib, près de la frontière turque. Près de 90 personnes y ont été tuées par des obus et des frappes aériennes, et la moitié d’entre elles étaient des enfants.

      « La pire des catastrophes humanitaires »

      « Permettez-moi de répéter ce que nous avons déjà dit à maintes reprises. Une attaque militaire d’envergure sur la ville d’Idlib occasionnerait la pire catastrophe humanitaire du 21ème siècle. Ce serait tout simplement inacceptable », a déclaré Filippo Grandi.

      Avec l’aide d’avions russes, l’armée syrienne a attaqué des villes au mains des forces rebelles dans la région d’Idlib, dernier bastion rebelle du pays. Ce bombardement a été le plus important depuis des mois. Les forces rebelles qui se sont battues depuis 8 ans pour faire tomber le Président al-Assad sont désormais confinées dans une enclave du nord est du pays, près de la frontière turque. Près de 4 millions de Syriens y vivent aujourd’hui, dont des centaines de milliers d’opposants au régime qui ont fui d’autres régions du pays.

      La Turquie, qui a commencé à patrouiller dans la zone tampon vendredi, a condamné ce qu’elle a qualifié de provocations croissantes pour mettre fin à la trêve et a averti qu’une offensive des forces russes et syriennes causerait une crise humanitaire majeure. De nombreux résidents sont exaspérés de l’incapacité des forces turques à répondre aux bombardements. L’armée syrienne a appelé au retrait des forces turques.

      L’enclave est protégée par une zone de « désescalade », un accord négocié l’an dernier par les pays qui soutiennent Bashar al-Assad, la Russie, l’Iran ainsi que la Turquie, qui avait auparavant soutenu les forces rebelles et envoyé des troupes pour surveiller la trêve. Le ministre turc des Affaires étrangères, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, a déclaré que 320 000 Syriens avaient pu rentrer chez eux grâce aux « opérations anti-terrorisme » menées par la Turquie et la Syrie.

      https://www.euractiv.fr/section/migrations/news/return-of-refugees-to-syria-timidly-comes-on-the-agenda

    • Assad asks Syrian refugees to come home — then locks them up and interrogates them

      Guarantees offered by the government as part of a ’reconciliation’ process are often hollow, with returnees harassed or extorted.

      Hundreds of Syrian refugees have been arrested after returning home as the war they fled winds down — then interrogated, forced to inform on close family members and in some cases tortured, say returnees and human rights monitors.

      Many more who weathered the conflict in rebel-held territory now retaken by government forces are meeting a similar fate as President Bashar al-Assad’s regime deepens its longtime dependence on informers and surveillance.

      For Syrian refugees, going home usually requires permission from the government and a willingness to provide a full accounting of any involvement they had with the political opposition. But in many cases the guarantees offered by the government as part of this “reconciliation” process turn out to be hollow, with returnees subjected to harassment or extortion by security agencies or detention and torture to extract information about the refugees’ activities while they were away, according to the returnees and monitoring groups.

      Almost 2,000 people have been detained after returning to Syria during the past two years, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, while hundreds more in areas once controlled by the rebels have also been arrested.

      “If I knew then what I know now, I would never have gone back,” said a young man who returned to a government-controlled area outside Damascus. He said he has been harassed for months by members of security forces who repeatedly turn up at his home and stop him at checkpoints to search his phone.

      “People are still being taken by the secret police, and communities are living between suspicion and fear,” he said. “When they come to your door, you cannot say no. You just have to go with them.”

      Returnees interviewed for this report spoke on the condition of anonymity or on the understanding that their family names would be withheld, because of security threats.

      Since the war erupted in 2011, more than 5 million people have fled Syria and 6 million others have been displaced to another part of the country, according to the United Nations – together representing slightly more than half the Syrian population.

      In the past two years, as Assad’s forces have largely routed the rebels and recaptured much of the country, refugees have begun to trickle back. The United Nations says that at least 164,000 refugees have returned to the country since 2016. But citing a lack of access, the United Nations has not been able to document whether they have come back to government- or opposition-held areas.

      Assad has called for more homecomings, encouraging returnees in a televised address in February to “carry out their national duties.” He said forgiveness would be afforded to returnees “when they are honest.”

      According to our data, you are the exception if nothing happens to you

      A recent survey of Syrians who returned to government-held areas found that about 75 percent had been harassed at checkpoints, in government registry offices or in the street, conscripted into the military despite promises they would be exempted, or arrested.

      “According to our data, you are the exception if nothing happens to you,” said Nader Othman, a trustee with the Syrian Association for Citizens’ Dignity, which said it had interviewed 350 returnees across Syria. “One of our most important takeaways is that most of those people who came back had thought that they were cleared by the regime. They thought their lack of opposition would protect them.”

      The Syrian government did not respond to multiple requests for comment about the treatment of returnees and other Syrians now back under government control.

      Outside Syria, many refugees say they were already apprehensive about going home, with fears over a lack of personal security only growing with reports that the government is reneging on its guarantees. Aid groups say there are few signs that a large-scale return will begin anytime soon.

      And in conversations with UN representatives, senior Syrian officials have made it clear that not all returnees are equally welcome. According to two European officials who recounted the conversations, individuals with links to opposition groups, media activism or humanitarian work will be least well received.

      But pressure on the refugees to return is rising across the Middle East, with Syria’s neighbours tightening restrictions on them in part to get them to leave.

      Homs

      Hassan, 30, left his home in the western province of Homs in 2013. Before returning at the end of last year, he secured what he believed were guarantees for his safety after paying a large bribe to a high-ranking security official.

      But officers from the state security directorate met him at the airport and took him for interrogation. “They knew everything – what I’d done abroad, which cafes I’d sat in, even the time I had sat with opposition supporters during football matches,” he recalled.

      A week later, he was arrested during a visit to a government registry office and taken to a nearby police station. In a dingy room, officers took turns beating and questioning him, he said, accusing him of ferrying ammunition for an armed opposition group inside Syria in 2014.

      “I kept telling them that they knew I wasn’t in the country then,” he said. “All they did was ask me for money and tell me that it was the way to my freedom.”

      At one point, he said, the guards dragged in a young woman he had never met. “They beat her with a water pipe until she screamed, (then) told me they would do the same if I didn’t cooperate,” Hassan said.

      He said he was released at the end of January after relatives paid another bribe, this time $7,000.

      Syrians returning from abroad, like Hassan, often have to gain security approval just to re-enter the country, in some cases signing loyalty pledges and providing extensive accounts of any political activities, according to documents listing questions to be asked and statements to be signed.

      https://nationalpost.com/news/world/assad-asks-syrian-refugees-to-come-home-then-locks-them-up-and-interro

    • Weighed down by economic woes, Syrian refugees head home from Jordan

      Rahaf* and Qassem lay out their plans to return to Syria as their five-year-old daughter plays with her toys in their small apartment in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

      It is early October, six years after they fled their home in Damascus, and the couple have decided it’s time to give up trying to make a life for themselves in Jordan.

      Last year, 51-year-old Qassem lost his job at a cleaning supplies factory when the facility shut down, and Rahaf’s home business as a beautician is slow.

      For months, the couple have resorted to borrowing money from friends to cover their 200 Jordanian dinar ($282) monthly rent. They are three months overdue. “There’s nobody else for us to borrow money from,” explains Rahaf.

      Weeks later, Qassem crossed the border and headed back to their old neighbourhood, joining an increasing tide of Syrian refugees who are going home, despite the dangers and a multitude of unknowns.

      According to the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, 34,000 registered Syrian refugees have returned from Jordan since October 2018, when a key border crossing was reopened after years of closure. It’s a fraction of the 650,000 registered Syrian refugees remaining in Jordan, but a dramatic jump from previous years, when annual returns hovered at around 7,000.

      Syrian refugees from the other main host countries – Turkey and Lebanon – are making the trip too. UNHCR has monitored more than 209,000 voluntary refugee returns to Syria since 2016, but the actual figure is likely to be significantly higher.

      Some Syrian refugees face political pressure to return and anti-refugee rhetoric, but that hasn’t taken hold in Jordan.

      Here, many refugees say they are simply fed up with years spent in a dead-end job market with a bleak economic future. The uptick appears to be driven more by the fact that Syrians who wish to go home can now – for the first time in three years – board a bus or a shared taxi from the border, which is about an hour and a half’s drive north of Amman.

      People like Rahaf and Qassem are pinning their hopes on picking up what is left of the lives they led before the war. Their Damascus house, which was damaged in the conflict, is near Qassem’s old shop, where he used to sell basic groceries and cleaning supplies.

      Qassem is staying with relatives for now. But the family had a plan: if and when he gave the green light, Rahaf and their children would join him back in Damascus.

      While she waited for his signal, Rahaf sold off what little furniture and other possessions they acquired in Jordan. “Honestly, we’ve gotten tired of this life, and we’ve lost hope,” she said.
      Money problems

      Before he lost his job, Qassem endured years of verbal abuse in the workplace, and few clients made the trip to Rahaf’s home.

      When she tried to set up a salon elsewhere, their refugee status created bureaucratic hurdles the couple couldn’t overcome. “I did go ask about paying rent for one shop, and they immediately told me no,” Qassem said. “[The owners] wanted a Jordanian renter.”

      Their story echoes those of many other refugees who say they have found peace but little opportunity in Jordan.

      Syrian refugees need a permit to work in Jordan – over 153,000 have been issued so far – but they are limited to working in a few industries in designated economic zones. Many others end up in low-paying jobs, and have long faced harsh economic conditions in Jordan.

      Thousands of urban refugees earn a meagre living either on farms or construction sites, or find informal work as day labourers.

      Abu Omran, who returned to Syria three months ago, fled Damascus with his family in 2013, and for a while was able to find occasional car mechanic jobs in Amman. Work eventually dried up, and he struggled to find ways to make money that did not require hard manual labour.

      “He spent the past three years just sitting at home, with no job,” recalled Abu Omran’s wife, Umm Omran.

      Speaking to The New Humanitarian in her Amman living room several months after her husband’s departure, she was soon joined for coffee and cigarettes by her youngest son, 19-year-old Badr. Newly married, he wore a ring on one finger.

      Times were so hard for the family that Abu Omran left Jordan before he had a chance to attend the wedding, and Badr has also been contemplating a return to Syria – the country he left as a young teenager.

      Badr works in a factory near Amman that produces cleaning products, but the pay is low. And although his older brother brings in a small salary from a pastry shop, it’s getting harder and harder for the family to pull together their rent each month.

      “I’m not returning because I think the situation in Syria is good. But you don’t enter into a difficult situation unless the one you’re currently in is even worse.”

      Entering a void

      While return may seem the best option for some, there are still more unknowns than knowns across the border in Syria.

      President Bashar al-Assad’s government forces control most of the country, but there are still airstrikes in the rebel-held northwest, and the recent Turkish invasion of the northeast has raised new questions about the country’s future.

      “I’m not returning because I think the situation in Syria is good,” said Farah, a mother of three who spoke to TNH in September – about a month before she packed up her things to leave. “But you don’t enter into a difficult situation unless the one you’re currently in is even worse.”

      In 2012, Farah and her husband left their home in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus for Jordan, where she gave birth to her three children.

      Her husband suffers from kidney stones, and the manual labour he has managed to pick up is just enough for them to pay for the rent of a shared house – crammed in with two other refugee families.

      The vast majority of Syrian refugees in Jordan – including Farah and Abu Omran’s families – live in urban areas like Amman, rather than in the country’s three refugee camps. They are still eligible for aid, but Farah had decided by October that she was “no longer able to bear” the poverty in Amman, even though UN food vouchers had covered some of her expenses.

      She took her three young children and crossed the border into Syria to stay with her mother, who lives in a southeastern suburb of Damascus. TNH has not been able to contact her since.

      Farah’s husband stayed behind in Jordan, fearing arrest or forced military conscription by Syrian government authorities.

      This has happened to other people who have gone back to Syria from Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, or other host countries. Despite promises to the contrary from the government, hundreds – and possibly thousands – of returnees have reportedly been detained.

      “There are issues with what information is made available to refugees… about what is going to happen to them on the other side, in Syria.”

      Lebanese authorities have also forcibly deported thousands of Syrian refugees, and Human Rights Watch says at least three of them were detained by Syrian authorities when they got back. It isn’t clear if any Syrians have faced the same fate returning from Jordan.

      Sara Kayyali, a researcher for Human Rights Watch based in Jordan, told TNH she has yet to verify reports of disappearance, conscription, and detainment of returnees from Jordan.

      “There are issues with what information is made available to refugees… about what is going to happen to them on the other side, in Syria,” said Kayyali. “Partially because people inside are too scared to talk about the conditions in government-held areas, and partially because the restrictions applied and the behaviour of the Syrian security forces is so arbitrary that it’s difficult to predict.”

      Kayyali pointed to the 30 Jordanian citizens detained in Syria since the border opened a year ago – Amman said they entered for tourism and were arrested without reason – as a sign of what could be to come for Syrians.

      “[If those threats] apply to Jordanians, then they’re most certainly going to be applied to Syrians, potentially on an even larger scale,” said Kayyali.

      There are other obstacles to return, or challenges for people who manage to get back, including destroyed homes and lost jobs. Healthcare and water provision is scattershot in certain parts of the country, while violence and war is ongoing in others.

      Francesco Bert, a UNHCR spokesperson in Jordan, said the agency “does not facilitate returns, but offers support to refugees if they voluntarily decide to go home”.

      Asked whether it is safe for refugees to go back to Syria, Bert said the agency “considers refugees’ decisions as the main guideposts”, but gives refugees considering or planning to return “information that might inform their decision-making”, to help ensure it is truly voluntary.
      The waiting game

      Despite the obstacles, more and more people are making the trip. But families often can’t travel back together.

      For Rahaf, that meant packing her things and waiting, before finally joining her husband last weekend.

      For Umm Omran, however, that means wondering if and when she will ever see her husband again.

      The family had hoped that Abu Omran could find a job repairing cars again in Damascus, and if that didn’t work out at least he could live rent-free with his sister’s family.

      But plans for his wife and sons to join him someday, once he had found his footing, now look increasingly unlikely.

      “He hasn’t said yet if he regrets going back home,” said Umm Omran, who communicates regularly via WhatsApp with her husband and other family members who never left Syria. They live in government-controlled Damascus and don’t give away much in their chats for fear of retaliation by security forces, who they worry could be monitoring their communications.

      What Umm Omran has managed to piece together isn’t promising.

      Her husband has yet to find a job in Damascus, and is beginning to feel like a burden at his sister’s home. Their own house, where he and Umm Omran raised their sons, is bombed-out and needs extensive repairs before anyone can move back in.

      For the time-being, Umm Omran has ruled out her own potential return to Syria, fearing her two sons would insist on joining her and end up being conscripted into the armed forces. So, for now, the family remains split in two.

      “When I ask him how things are going, he just says, ‘Thank God’. He says little else,” said Umm Omran, scrolling through chats on her mobile phone. “I think he’s upset about leaving us.”

      https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2019/11/19/Syrian-refugees-return-Jordan
      #Amman #Jordanie

  • Jordan demands Israel turn over embassy guard over deadly shooting incident
    July 24, 2017 5:37 P.M. (Updated: July 24, 2017 5:43 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=778321

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Jordanian government has reportedly issued a judicial order banning the Israeli security guard who was involved in a deadly shooting at the Israeli embassy in Jordan on Saturday night from leaving Jordan.

    Government sources told Ma’an that Jordan was demanding that Israeli authorities hand over the guard, who shot and killed two Jordanian carpenters in unclear circumstances, to Jordanian authorities for interrogation and legal procedures.

    Sources stressed that Jordan will “escalate diplomatic steps” if the guard was not turned in to Jordanian authorities.

    Israel has been refusing to allow Jordanian authorities to question the injured Israeli security guard, citing his immunity under the Vienna Convention, while all security personnel and diplomatic employees were confined to the embassy compound, according to reports.

    On Sunday, Haaretz reported that Israel had decided to immediately evacuate all Amman embassy staff, fearing that the incident would lead to riots and attempts to attack the embassy.

    On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Twitter that he had spoken twice with Israeli Ambassador to Jordan Eynat Schlein overnight Sunday, and with the security guard.

    “I gained the impression that she (Schlein) is managing matters there very well. I assured the security guard that we will bring him back to Israel,” Netanyahu said, adding that “I told them that we are holding ongoing contacts with security and government officials in Amman on all levels, to bring the incident to a close as soon as possible.”

    #Amman #Ambassade_israélienne
    https://seenthis.net/messages/617083
    #Jordanie #Ziv

    • Reports: Israeli, US officials travel to Jordan to discuss Al-Aqsa, embassy security guard
      July 24, 2017 10:15 P.M. (Updated: July 24, 2017 10:15 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=778330

      BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli media reported on Monday evening that during a “dialogue” between Israeli and Jordanian authorities, Jordan “did not condition the release of an Israeli embassy security guard back to Israel on the removal of the metal detectors at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.”

      Israel’s Channel 10 reported that the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the dialogue went “well,” and that United States envoy Jason Greenblatt would be heading to Amman from Jerusalem, where he arrived earlier Monday, “to convince the King to end the crisis of the embassy guard.”

      Earlier Monday, Jordanian government sources told Ma’an that the Jordanian government issued a judicial order banning the Israeli security guard who was involved in a deadly shooting at the Israeli embassy in Jordan on Saturday night that left two Jordanians dead, from leaving Jordan.

      Government sources said that Jordan was demanding that Israeli authorities hand over the guard, who shot and killed two Jordanian carpenters in unclear circumstances, to Jordanian authorities for interrogation and legal procedures.

      Sources stressed that Jordan will “escalate diplomatic steps” if the guard was not turned in to Jordanian authorities.

      Israel has been refusing to allow Jordanian authorities to question the injured Israeli security guard, citing his immunity under the Vienna Convention, while all security personnel and diplomatic employees were confined to the embassy compound, according to reports.

      Prior to Channel 10’s report, Israeli media had reported that Netanyahu would be calling the Jordanian King to discuss the issue of the embassy security guard, as well as the ongoing crisis surrounding the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where tensions have continued to rise since Israel installed metal detectors and security cameras inside the compound following a deadly shoot out at the holy site on July 14.

      Israeli media had reported that chief of the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal intelligence agency, Nadav Argaman was sent to Jordan, and that Israel would be removing all metal detectors and replacing them with thermal cameras, a report that could not be verified by Ma’an (...)

      .

    • Israel rules to replace contested Al-Aqsa metal detectors with ’smart’ surveillance
      July 25, 2017 11:03 A.M. (Updated: July 25, 2017 11:03 A.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=778334

      BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli security cabinet decided during a meeting late on Monday night to remove metal detectors, which had recently been installed at the entrances of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, only to replace them with more advanced surveillance technology in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.

      Israeli authorities installed metal detectors, turnstiles, and additional security cameras in the compound following a deadly shooting attack at Al-Aqsa on July 14 — sparking protests from Palestinians, who said the move was the latest example of Israeli authorities using Israeli-Palestinian violence as a means of furthering control over important sites in the occupied Palestinian territory and normalizing repressive measures against Palestinians.

      In a statement, the security cabinet said it had “accepted the recommendation of all of the security bodies to incorporate security measures based on advanced technologies ("smart checks") and other measures instead of metal detectors in order to ensure the security of visitors and worshipers in the Old City and on the Temple Mount” — using the Israeli term for the Al-Aqsa compound.

      Religious leaders in Jerusalem were scheduled to hold a meeting Tuesday to discuss the new Israeli plan, as Islamic endowment (Waqf) official Sheikh Raed Daana told Ma’an that both religious leaders and the Palestinians wouldn’t accept any changes to the status quo.

      “We won’t accept cameras or (metal) posts,” Daana said on Monday evening.

      The plan will reportedly take up to six months to implement, and cost an estimated 100 million shekels ($28 million).
      (...)
      According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, at least 1,090 Palestinians had been injured since July 14 during demonstrations which were violently repressed by Israeli forces across the occupied Palestinian territory. According to Ma’an documentation, 11 Palestinians and five Israelis have been killed since July 14.

    • Israeli embassy staff, including guard who killed 2, leave Jordan amid investigation
      July 25, 2017 3:46 P.M. (Updated: July 25, 2017 7:54 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=778337

      BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Staff members of the Israeli embassy to Jordan, including a security guard who killed two Jordanians, returned to Israel on Monday night after a day of tensions between the two countries over the deadly shootout.

      A Jordanian investigation into the shooting, in which Muhammad Zakariya al-Jawawdeh, 17 , and Bashar Hamarneh were killed, revealed that the deadly incident started off as a professional dispute, official Jordanian news agency Petra reported on Monday.

      According to Jordanian police, al-Jawawdeh had accompanied a relative delivering furniture to the security guard’s apartment in the Israeli compound in Amman, when an argument over alleged delays turned physical.

      Witnesses said that al-Jawawdeh attacked the Israeli security guard — whom Israeli media have referred to as Ziv — with a screwdriver, after which the Israeli shot at him and Hamarneh, the apartment building owner.

      Petra reported that the case had been referred to a prosecutor for further legal steps, as Jordan and Israel have sparred over whether the security guard should be handed over to Jordanian custody.

      Israel, meanwhile, has refused to allow Jordanian authorities to question the injured Israeli security guard, citing his immunity under the Vienna Conventions — a body of international law which Israel has been accused of regularly violating.

      Nadav Argaman, the director of Israel’s intelligence service, the Shin Bet, traveled to Jordan in an attempt to resolve the situation, whereas Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a phone call with Jordan’s King Abdullah over the case.

      The Israeli security guard thanked Netanyahu for helping him leave Jordan without facing interrogation or criminal charges.

      "I know an entire country stands behind us. You told me yesterday I’d return home, and you calmed me down, and then it happened. I thank you wholeheartedly,” Israeli news outlet Ynet quoted him as saying.

      Despite reports that Israeli authorities would remove metal detectors at the entrance of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem in exchange for securing the return of the security guard, Netanyahu denied that such an agreement had taken place.

      #Ben_voyons

    • Tuesday, July 25, 2017
      http://angryarab.blogspot.fr/2017/07/from-funeral-of-muhammad-jawawdeh-16.html

      From the funeral of Muhammad Jawawdeh, 16, who was shot by an Israeli embassy terrorist in Amman

      It says “death to Israel”.
      Posted by As’ad AbuKhalil at 8:38 AM

      ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““
      Tuesday, July 25, 2017
      Netanyahu warmly welcomes the terrorist who shot a 16-year old Jordanian
      http://angryarab.blogspot.fr/2017/07/netanyahu-warmly-welcomes-terrorist-who.html

      When will they stop teaching and practicing hate? Who will change their curricula?
      Posted by As’ad AbuKhalil at 11:17 AM

    • Investigation into Israeli embassy shooting completed
      http://petra.gov.jo/Public_News/Nws_NewsDetails.aspx?lang=2&site_id=1&NewsID=311051&CatID=13

      Amman, July 24 (Petra) — The Public Security Department (PSD), said Monday evening that the investigation launched into a shooting incident inside the Israeli embassy compound in Amman on Sunday was completed.

      A statement released by the PSD said the investigation was completed after collecting information from the crime scene and listening to a number of eyewitnesses, who were present at the scene.

      A PSD special investigation team has found that there was a prior agreement between people working in carpentry to supply bedroom furniture for an apartment rented by an Israeli embassy employee, the statement indicated, adding that two people came to furnish the bedroom of the Israeli employee’s apartment inside the compound.

      During the process, a dispute has erupted between one of the carpenters, who was the furniture shop owner’s son, and the Israeli diplomat. The two had a verbal argument as the Israeli diplomat claimed that there was a delay in completing the agreed upon work on time.

      The altercation escalated to physical confrontation where the carpenter attacked and injured the Israeli diplomat who in turn shot the carpenter and the apartment’s owner, who and the building’s doorman were present at the scene, the statement added, citing the testimony given by the other person who came with the carpenter.

      The team also listened to the doorman’s testimony, who corroborated the story as mentioned in the investigation.

      Then case has been referred to the competent prosecutor for further legal action.

      //Petra// AF

      25/7/2017 - 12:00:24 AM

  • Reports of ‘attempted security breach,’ 1 killed at Israeli embassy in Jordan
    uly 23, 2017 9:38 P.M. (Updated: July 23, 2017 9:47 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=778307

    Jordanian security forces blocking off roads leading to the Israeli embassy in Amman on July 23, 2017.

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Jordanian media reported on Sunday that the area surrounding the Israeli embassy in the Jordanian capital, Amman, had been shut down on Sunday evening following an ’attempted security breach’ which allegedly left one person dead and another injured.

    According to media outlet Ammon News reported that security forces had cordoned off the area, adding that one Jordanian was believed to be dead, while an Israeli was reportedly wounded.

    Meanwhile, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said that the incident was “under full censorship” — preventing Israeli media and foreign journalists with Israeli press cards from reporting on the event.

    “““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““
    Israeli embassy security guard shoots, kills 2 Jordanians in Amman
    July 23, 2017 9:38 P.M. (Updated: July 24, 2017 11:50 A.M.)

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli embassy security guard shot and killed two Jordanians in Amman under unclear circumstances Sunday night, with Jordanian media describing the incident as a personal dispute and the Israeli foreign ministry saying the Israeli guard was defending himself from a politically-motivated attack.

    According to reports, two Jordanian carpenter workers had arrived to an apartment in the residential complex used by the Israeli embassy to replace furniture.

    An Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement that one of the workers crept up behind the guard and began stabbing him with a screwdriver. The guard then opened fire, killing the alleged attacker, and also inadvertently shot the Jordanian owner of the building who was present at the scene, who later succumbed to his wounds as well.

    A third Jordanian worker was present at the scene, according to the statement, which was released Monday morning after the incident was put under a media ban by Israeli authorities overnight.

    The ministry’s statement said the Israeli guard was lightly injured in the incident, without elaborating on the nature of his injuries. Israeli news outlet Haaretz said he was injured when jumping back away from the Jordanian as he his cocked his weapon.

    The slain alleged assailant was identified as 17-year-old Muhammad Zakariya al-Jawawdeh, reportedly of Palestinian origin, who died after being shot twice. He had previously done maintenance work in the Israeli embassy and its residential compound.

    The Jordanian General Security Administration issued a statement, reportedly saying the circumstances surrounding the incident were still being investigated, and did not say that a Jordanian carpenter had attacked an Israeli.

    Later Sunday night, dozens of al-Jawawdeh’s family members gathered in Asharq Al-Awsat square in Amman to protest his death, demanding that the Jordanian government release all details of the investigation and punish the shooter.

    One relative told news cameras from private Jordanian outlet Ammon that the boy had went to the apartment to collect money in return for a bedroom set purchased by the Israeli guard, claiming that al-Jawawdeh did not realize the customer was armed or a Jewish Israeli.

    “He was a student on summer holiday. The boy went with the young guys to collect the money, and a heated argument broke out between him another young man there. We didn’t know they were armed, nor did we know they were Jews. If we knew they were Jews, we would have considered it dishonor that they visit our stores,” the man said.

    “What has happened is that our son had heated argument with the man. Regardless of whether he slapped you or you boxed him, how dare you in cold-blood cock your handgun and shoot the boy as if he was a cockroach?”

    The father also said in an interview with Jordanian television station Roya TV that his son did not know the nationality of the man who killed him and that he was a regular customer who bought furniture from them.

    However, Israeli authorities have been treating the incident as a possible attack in retaliation to rising tensions in occupied East Jerusalem.

    #Ambassade_israélienne #Amman #Jordanie #Ziv

    • Un Jordanien tué et un Israélien blessé à l’ambassade d’Israël en Jordanie

      La mise en place par Israël de détecteurs de métaux aux entrées de l’esplanade des Mosquées à Jérusalem-Est, gérée par la Jordanie, a engendré des violences meurtrières.
      Le Monde.fr avec AFP | 23.07.2017 à 21h31
      http://www.lemonde.fr/proche-orient/article/2017/07/23/un-jordanien-tue-et-un-israelien-blesse-a-l-ambassade-d-israel-en-jordanie_5

      Alors que la tension reste vive à Jérusalem-Est, secouée depuis une semaine par la crise de l’esplanade des Mosquées, Amman, la capitale jordanienne est à son tour visée. Un Jordanien a été tué et un Israélien grièvement blessé lors d’un « incident » survenu dimanche 23 juillet à l’intérieur de l’ambassade d’Israël à Amman, la capitale jordanienne, selon une source des services de sécurité jordaniens.

      Cette dernière n’a toutefois pas fourni plus de précisions et il n’était pas clair, dans l’immédiat, si l’« incident » est lié aux tensions à Jérusalem, les autorités jordaniennes n’ayant pas donné davantage de détails tandis qu’Israël n’a pas réagi.

      Les forces de sécurité jordaniennes ont encerclé l’ambassade d’Israël, située dans le secteur de Rabieh, dans l’ouest d’Amman, et se sont déployées dans les rues voisines, selon un correspondant de l’Agence France-Presse (AFP).
      (...)
      « Nous irons à al-Aqsa en martyrs par millions »

      Vendredi, plusieurs milliers de manifestants ont défilé à Amman et dans d’autres villes de Jordanie, à l’appel de la mouvance islamiste et de partis de gauche, pour protester contre ces nouvelles mesures.

      « Nous irons à Al-Aqsa en martyrs par millions », répétaient-ils entre autres, en référence à la mosquée Al-Aqsa s’élevant sur l’esplanade des Mosquées, troisième lieu saint de l’islam.

      ““““““““““““““
      Mis à jour le 24.07.2017 à 10h42 |

      L’un des fonctionnaires israéliens en poste à l’ambassade d’Amman, en Jordanie, a tué deux Jordaniens après avoir été victime d’une agression. Les faits se sont produits dans son appartement, à côté de l’ambassade. Responsable de la sécurité, il avait convié un menuisier jordanien pour effectuer des travaux, en présence du propriétaire. Le menuisier a attaqué le fonctionnaire avec un tournevis. Ce dernier a ouvert le feu et l’a tué, tout en blessant grièvement le propriétaire jordanien, qui est mort.

      Les Israéliens disent ne pas douter de la motivation idéologique de l’agresseur, qui serait liée à la situation à Jérusalem. Le gouvernement a voulu rapatrier l’ensemble de ses diplomates, mais a dû renoncer. La Sécurité générale jordanienne souhaite interroger l’Israélien impliqué. Or il jouit de l’immunité diplomatique, selon le ministère des affaires étrangères.

    • Jordanian killed in shooting incident inside Israeli embassy compound in Amman
      //Petra// AF // 23/7/2017 - 11:02:23 PM
      http://petra.gov.jo/Public_News/Nws_NewsDetails.aspx?lang=2&site_id=1&NewsID=310871&CatID=13
      Amman, July 23 (Petra) — Police said they are investigating a shooting incident inside the Israeli embassy compound in Amman, which left a Jordanian citizen dead and injured two others; a Jordanian and an Israeli.

      The Public Security Department (PSD) said a police forced rushed to the scene of the incident and evacuated the three for medical treatment but one of them, a Jordanian, was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

      The PSD added in a statement that preliminary investigations indicate that the two Jordanians had entered the embassy’s compound to do carpentry work.

      The statement said the PSD launched an extensive investigation into the incident and informed the Public Prosecution in order to find out all details and circumstances in accordance with legal procedures followed in such cases.

    • Diplomatic Crisis With Jordan: Embassy Guard Who Killed Assailant Prevented From Returning to Israel

      Israeli Embassy guard shoots and kills a Jordanian teen who tried to stab him, and another man; Israel decides to pull out its diplomats but halts the evacuation when Jordan insists on interrogating him
      Barak Ravid, Jack Khoury and Gili Cohen Jul 24, 2017 7:58 AM
      http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.803076

      An unusual security incident in which a Jordanian civilian tried to attack an Israeli embassy guard in Jordan on Sunday and was shot dead has become a diplomatic crisis. Jordan is barring the Israeli guard from leaving the country.

      On Sunday evening, following an emergency meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, it was decided to immediately evacuate all the staff of the Israeli embassy in Amman for fear that the incident would lead to riots and attempts to attack the embassy. However, the Jordanian authorities have refused to allow the security guard to leave the country and have demanded an investigation.

      Israel is currently refusing to allow an investigation of the security guard at this stage, claiming that the guard has diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention. The dispute over a possible investigation has led to the delay in the evacuation of the Israeli diplomatic team in Amman.
      (...) The guard at the Israeli Embassy in Amman was stabbed on Sunday by a Jordanian carpenter who was installing furniture in his apartment near the embassy compound. The Israeli security officer, who was lightly wounded in the incident, shot and killed the attacker. His landlord, who was also present during the incident, was also wounded during the incident and later died of his wounds.

  • L’amélioration des conditions de vie dans les #camps_de_réfugiés palestiniens à #Amman ou la dé-théâtralisation de l’urbanisme jordanien

    En analysant l’#aménagement_urbain des camps de réfugiés palestiniens à Amman, cet article met en évidence l’hétérogénéité des urbanismes, et de leurs registres discursifs, qui existent en #Jordanie. Malgré le fait que certains camps existent depuis plus de 60 ans, les discours officiels des institutions en charge de ces espaces soulignent avant tout leur caractère continuellement provisoire. Cette dimension est a priori contradictoire avec toute idée d’#aménagement urbain, dont l’objectif est de planifier des espaces sur une certaine durée et de les inscrire dans l’avenir. Notre argument est que, même dans cette situation où officiellement il n’est toujours pas question de développement urbain, une certaine forme d’aménagement « #humanitaire » a tout de même existé. Elle a été portée par l’invention d’un discours portant sur « l’amélioration des conditions de vie ». Cependant, la transformation de l’habitat des réfugiés palestiniens a été « dé-théâtralisée », par rapport à la « mise en scène » de l’urbanisme jordanien dominant qui vise à la restructuration néo-libérale des espaces centraux et ouest d’Amman. L’aménagement des camps n’est pourtant pas complètement déconnecté de ce processus. Mais, la mise en récit qui lui est associée a neutralisé le débat à son sujet en le réduisant à des dimensions uniquement techniques et humanitaires. Cette dé-théâtralisation du récit d’urbanisme représente un ingénieux compromis qui a été nécessaire afin de maintenir la qualité des camps — mi-lieux éphémères, mi-quartiers– tout en permettant une forme de développement et d’insertion de ces espaces dans la ville moderne et néo-libérale d’Amman.

    http://articulo.revues.org/2740
    #Jordanie #réfugiés_palestiniens #réfugiés #asile #migrations #urban_matter

  • La ville qui noie ses enfants : Amman
    The Socioeconomics Of Bad Weather In Jordan – The Black Iris
    http://black-iris.com/2015/11/08/the-socioeconomics-of-bad-weather-in-jordan

    these prevailing realities are not something officials are constantly conscious of enough to factor in when policies are designed, or when a reaction to an unexpected event is demanded. Being unelected, they do not come from these communities, and more importantly, they do not view themselves as accountable except to the King and, on the rare occasion, to the court of public opinion – a storm they can confidently maneuver given that the public has temporarily taken the road of silence. They view poverty as theoretical and hypothetical, rather than a tangible reality.

    Subsequently, they look at these storms as mere passing weather, and indeed, even the middle class (and I include myself in this category) will tend to see it the same way. We don’t see it as a catastrophe because for many of us, our belongings weren’t swept away, or our loved ones didn’t have to be rescued from basements or ground floor windows. Our jobs do not demand we be on the streets, and so we outsource that reality to the policemen, to the army, to the sanitation workers, to the unsung heroes whose photos populate our social networks to the praise of those who sacrificed nothing.

    “The city was flooded; it didn’t drown,” insisted the Mayor recently, correcting a journalist’s question on TV. But it did my dear Mayor, you just operate in a very different context. For many, that’s exactly what happened – the city drowned.

    And beyond there are four drowned bodies to prove it.


    #Jordanie #inondations #Amman #inégalités

    • Dans la Revue de presse de l’Ambassade de France en Jordanie :

      - Intempéries de jeudi : les torrents d’eau ont occasionné d’importants dégâts dans la capitale, notamment sur l’amphithéâtre romain. Les pertes des commerçants de la ville basse s’élèveraient à 5 millions de dinars (SA 4).

      D’importantes controverses se déclarent dans le Royaume.

      – Pour le Ministre de la Justice Bassam El-Talhouni et pour plusieurs juristes, les victimes sont en droit de traduire la Mairie d’Amman en justice (au titre de la « loi sur les défaillances des responsables » et au titre de l’article 40 de la « loi sur les municipalités »). Des dizaines de familles du quartier Erjan (Est d’Amman, où deux enfants égyptiens ont péri noyés) s’apprêtent, à ce titre, à porter plainte contre Aqel Beltaji, le marie de la capitale. Elles doivent évacuer leurs appartements devenus inhabitables. (SA 4).

      – Pour Aqel Beltaji, « la Mairie n’est pas responsable des dégâts (…) et les victimes doivent s’en remettre aux sociétés d’assurance » (lesquelles ont rapidement affirmé qu’elles ne dédommageraient personne). Beltaji s’engage quand même « à mener une enquête » (SA 6), s’interrogeant notamment sur les raisons ayant pu pousser des familles à s’installer en sous-sol. Il reconnait enfin que 60% des bâtiments de la capitale ne respectent pas les codes de construction (GD).

      – Le Jordan United Front (nationaliste) appelle, dans une déclaration, à la démission du Cabinet et tient le gouverneur d’Amman pour responsable de la gestion calamiteuse de l’épisode (Khaberni). Dans son éditorial « Pourquoi ne pas démissionner ? » publié dans Al Ghad, Jumana Ghunaimat évoque la démission du gouvernement roumain à la suite de l’incendie meurtrier d’une discothèque, et vante cette « leçon de démocratie ».

      – Le député Amjad El-Msallamani a appelé, de son côté, à la création d’une commission d’enquête pour définir les responsables. Pour El-Msallamani, « la Mairie a besoin de sang nouveau et de personnes expérimentées ». (R 2).
      Nidal Mansour (GD 10) : Jeudi dernier, Amman s’est noyée en moins de 45 minutes. Les pluies diluviennes ont causé d’importants dégâts, sur les véhicules comme sur les appartements. « Pourquoi les personnes décédées vivaient-elles au sous-sol ? » ; on espère qu’un responsable jordanien posera, un jour, la question.

      Quoiqu’il en soit, nous entrons dans l’hiver, et beaucoup de nos concitoyens ne croient plus ceux qui affirment que tout est sous contrôle. Ils redoutent non seulement les prochains intempéries, mais également que personne ne les dédommage, en cas de sinistre.

      Sabri Rbeihat (GD 10) : Dans nos villes, beaucoup de responsables restent persuadés que leur charge publique constitue un « privilège social. Personne ne peut nier qu’il existe des phénomènes climatiques et des catastrophes qui dépassent momentanément nos institutions et administrations. En revanche, le problème devient sérieux quand nos responsables, non contents d’être dépassés, répondent aux questions qu’on leur pose avec beaucoup de suffisance et d’arrogance.

      – Joumana Ghneimat (GD 32) : Alors qu’Amman se noyait jeudi et que les torrents d’eau causaient la mort de quatre individus, le « centre de gestion des crises » était aux abonnés absents. Depuis, nous n’avons entendu du gouvernement aucune déclaration reconnaissant une quelconque responsabilité morale, excepté un propos du ministre de l’Intérieur, Salameh Hammad, relevant que la Mairie d’Amman n’avait pas préparé le système d’évacuation des eaux de pluie.

      Dans tout pays respectant un tant soit peu ses citoyens, il existe des « traditions » en matière de gestion de crises. Ce n’est assurément pas le cas en Jordanie, où aucune démission n’a été envisagée.

  • #Jordan rejects bid to reduce age of criminal responsibility to seven years old
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/jordan-rejects-bid-reduce-age-criminal-responsibility-seven-years

    The Jordanian parliament. (Photo: AFP) The Jordanian parliament. (Photo: AFP)

    Some Jordanian MPs somehow decided that childhood ends at the age of seven, introducing a bill to lower the age of criminal responsibility for juveniles to almost the same age school attendance begins to be compulsory, as though intending for punishment to begin before education.

    Mahmoud Sharaan

    read more

    #Culture_&_Society #Abdul-Karim_al-Daghmi #Amman #Arab_Organization_for_Human_Rights #Articles #Atef_Tarawneh #Jordanian_Society_for_Human_Rights #Ma’an

  • Kidnapped #Jordan ambassador released in swap for jihadist
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/kidnapped-jordan-ambassador-released-swap-jihadist

    Jordan’s ambassador to #Libya was freed and returned home on Tuesday, a month after being kidnapped, in an exchange for a jihadist jailed for plotting bomb attacks. A government minister told AFP that ambassador #Fawaz_Aitan had been released, with the announcement coming just days after Libya said it had ratified an extradition agreement with Jordan. A plane carrying Aitan touched down at Marka military airport in #Amman and was greeted by relatives and officials led by Prince Faisal bin Hussein, the brother of King Abdullah II, said state news agency Petra. read more

    #Top_News #Tripoli

  • Badia residents protest against nuclear reactor | The Jordan Times
    http://jordantimes.com/badia-residents-protest-against-nuclear-reactor

    In a “no to nuclear” rally on the outskirts of the town of Muwaqqar, some 20 kilometres south of #Amman, dozens of environmentalists, activists and tribal leaders protested against plans to construct twin 1,000 megawatt reactors in the nearby Qusayr Amra region, accusing the government of exposing area residents to “danger”.

    During the hour-long demonstration, local community leaders and energy experts took turns criticising the proposed site for the reactors, claiming it would threaten underground water resources.

    “We have dozens of alternatives to nuclear energy — wind, solar power and oil shale,” said Mashaal Majali, an activist with the National Coalition Against the Nuclear Reactor.

    “Why expose the entire country to danger and use valuable water resources when we have all the alternative energy options right before us?” he asked.

    Protesters called on the government to halt plans for the reactors, vowing a “war of resistance” if construction plans proceed.

    “This land is where we farm, where we raise livestock and most importantly where we raise our children,” said Mohammed Suleiman a Muwaqqar-area farmer who fears that the reactor’s proximity will affect cultivation.

    “If the government believes that we will stay silent because we are in the badia and not in Amman, they are making a big mistake.”

    Thursday marked the latest in a series of protests over the planned reactor site, which was unveiled in a press conference in late October to announce the selection of Russian state-owned firm Rosatom as the preferred vendor to construct two 1,000-megawatt reactors by 2021.

    Activists and local residents claim that the reactors threaten the underground aquifers in Azraq, some 15 kilometres from the proposed site.

    The Jordan Atomic Energy Commission listed the site’s distance from major urban centres and proximity to the Khirbet Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant among its advantages.

    #nuclear
    #water
    #energy
    #Jordan
    #electricity

  • Vers un recyclage des eaux usées de la capitale jordanienne, représentant 10% des ressources nationales.
    Ce que l’article ne dit pas, c’est qu’à terme, une partie de ces ressources doivent être employées pour refroidir la centrale nucléaire dont le pays entend se doter.
    ‘Zarqa water situation to improve within three years’ | The Jordan Times
    http://jordantimes.com/zarqa-water-situation-to-improve-within-three-years

    The three projects constitute a “closed water cycle”, Russin said, noting that the new water pipes will reduce leakage and save precious water, while the wastewater networks will collect the sewage and the Samra plant will treat water which will be used for irrigation.

    #eau
    #recyclage
    #Amman
    #Jordanie

  • La Jordanie choisit la firme russe Rosatom pour construire son premier réacteur nucléaire
    Russian firm set to build Jordan’s first nuclear plants | The Jordan Times
    http://jordantimes.com/russian-firm-set-to-build-jordans-first-nuclear-plants
    Cette décision est un nouveau revers pour AREVA, déjà écarté aux Emirats Arabes Unis et qui présentait ici un réacteur expérimental de technologie plus simple et moins couteuse, ATMEA.
    Le montage financier serait un BOT où la firme russe apportera 49% du capital. On peut imaginer que les garanties financières seront conséquentes. Elles porteront sur le prix de l’électricité, qui est pourtant un sujet extrêmement controversé depuis plusieurs années, les hausses étant l’un des mobiles des manifestations qui agitent le pays.
    Le troisième point notable concerne la localisation. D’abord déplacé de Aqaba vers Balaama près de Mafraq, officiellement à cause des problèmes de sécurité sismique mais aussi à cause des réticences israéliennes et américaines (peut être aussi saoudiennes), le projet a fait l’objet dans ce nouveau site de nombreuses contestations. C’est donc un troisième site qui a été retenu, plus éloigné des zones habitées mais néanmoins assez proche de la grande usine d’assainissement de Khirbet Samra, près de Zarqa, dont les eaux doivent être réutilisées pour le refroidissement de la nouvelle centrale.
    Je ne sais pas exactement où se situe l’emplacement choisi mais sur la photo satalitte ci-dessous, on a les principaux repères spatiaux concernés : l’agglomération d’Amman-Zarqa, sur la partie ouest de l’image. Au nord ouest, dans son prolongement, l’usine d’assainissement de l’agglomération de Khirbet Samra. Dans le coin sud-est, la localité de Qusayr Amra, connue pour ses vestiges archéologiques (château d’époque ommeyade). C’est en gros entre ces trois pôles que doit se localiser la centrale.

    As part of the decision, ratified by the Prime Ministry on Sunday, the government and the Russian firm have entered negotiations over electricity pricing in order to reach a final agreement and break ground on the reactors by 2015.

    “We have entered the second stage of negotiations with Rosatom, which we hope will lead to a final agreement and secure the country’s energy future,” Jordan Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Khaled Toukan said during a joint press conference with the ministers of environment and energy Taher Shakhshir and Mohammad Hamed.

    Energy officials listed the safety track record of the firm’s AES92 VVER1000 reactor technology among the main advantages of the Russian bid, which beat out shortlisted French firm AREVA’s experimental ATMEA1 reactor and Canadian AECL’s
    CANDU technology.

    “This is a licensed technology that has a proven safety record in several European countries and elsewhere, which was important in our decision,” Toukan said.

    Another leading factor is believed to be the financial arrangements laid out in the proposal, under which Rosatom has agreed to take on 49 per cent of the plants’ $10 billion construction and operation costs on a build-own-operate basis, with the government shouldering the remaining 51 per cent and retaining a majority share in the plants.

    According to Toukan, the government will seek out local public and private investors to take part in a joint utility and shareholding company to be established by the government and Rosatom to maintain the reactors as a “Jordanian national venture”.

    The proposal mirrors a similar agreement struck by Rosatom and Turkey in 2010, under which the firm is set to construct four 1,000MW reactors at a $20 billion price tag.

    Although the final prices of electricity generated by the reactors — to be determined by the Russian firm and the government in upcoming negotiations — will include a profit margin for the firm, energy officials remained confident that tariffs will remain “well below” current energy costs in the country.

    “At the end of the day, electricity prices will not only be much lower than fossil fuels, they will be competitive with oil shale, natural gas and renewable energy,” Toukan said.

    Officials say the deal aims to help achieve energy independence in Jordan, which imports around 97 per cent of its energy needs at a cost of over one-fifth of the gross domestic product, and bring stability to a sector that has been impacted by ongoing disruptions in Egyptian gas supplies and fluctuations in international oil prices.

    “Electricity distributors can no longer handle the sharp ups and downs in international oil prices,” Hamed told reporters.

    “Nuclear energy will help solve this instability,” he added.

    Reactor site ‘approved’

    Meanwhile, energy officials unveiled the final designated location for the planned nuclear power plants.

    According to Toukan, Rosatom is set to build the country’s first reactors at a site near Qusayr Amra, some 60 kilometres northeast of Amman and at the edge of the northern desert, after the location was approved in Sunday’s Cabinet decision.

    Officials listed the site’s geographic location, some 30 kilometres away from the nearest residential area and its proximity to the Khirbet Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant, among its strategic advantages.

    The choice of a site for the reactors has been subject to intense public scrutiny over the past four years as officials shifted the planned location from the Red Sea Port of Aqaba to the town of Balaama, outside the northern city of Mafraq.

    Under initial plans, the reactors are to rely on some 500 million cubic metres of water annually from the Khirbet Samra plant, which is some 20 kilometres away from Qusayr Amra, marking them as the second in the world to utilise wastewater for cooling purposes.


    #Jordanie
    #Amman
    #centrale_nucléaire
    #énergie
    #électricité

  • ‘Work to resume on Bus Rapid Transit project’ | The Jordan Times
    http://jordantimes.com/work-to-resume-on-bus-rapid-transit-project

    Construction is expected to resume on the long-stalled Amman Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project within the next few weeks, a source familiar with the project said on Monday.
    [...]

    Public transportation experts have called the BRT the best option for a city like Amman to resolve its growing public transportation dilemma.

    In March, the project’s director, Ayman Smadi, said the project had been “politicised” and accused political enemies of GAM’s management, including some members of Parliament, of using the project as a means to attack them.

    #Jordanie
    #transports_collectifs
    #Amman
    #développement_durable

  • Teens turn disused bus lane into bicycle lane | The Jordan Times
    http://jordantimes.com/teens-turn-disused-bus-lane-into-bicycle-lane

    Two boys took the initiative and made use of a non-operational bus lane in west #Amman on Wednesday by turning it into a bicycle lane.

    Omar Ahmad and Mohammad Ali, both 14, from the Dahiyat Al Rashid neighbourhood, said they and other teens recently discovered the usefulness of the disused lane on Queen Rania Street near their homes.

    D’un développement durable à l’autre... où comment la suspension d’un projet de transport collectif écologique facilite l’usage de la #bicyclette... On reste un peu dans l’anecdote quand même
    #développement_durable
    #Jordanie