JOINT EMERGENCY STATEMENT
by joint coordination headquarters of the Russian Federation and the Syrian Arab Republic “On the plight of the Rukban camp refugees»
March 22, 2019
For 1,786 days now the Syrian citizens has been suffering forcibly detained in Rukban refugee camp by US-controlled armed groups in the occupied Al-Tanf zone.
Despite the unprecedented measures taken by the Syrian authorities, the residents of the Rukban camp still cannot return home due to the tough opposition of the American side.
Washington does not care about the humanitarian catastrophe happening in the camp which every day continues to only get worse. It is advantageous for the United States to keep Rukban residents under its control as long as possible to substantiate its illegal presence in the al-Tanf zone.
But we cannot remain indifferent to the suffering of people in the Rukban camp, and with a sense of full responsibility, we insist on the early elimination of this source of violence, crime and the spread of dangerous infections on the Syrian-Jordanian border.
Recent space images show that the number of graves in spontaneous cemeteries located in the immediate vicinity of the dwellings continues to grow rapidly. There are daily reports of the death of young children as a result of unsanitary conditions and infectious diseases, as well as the absence of doctors and elementary medical care in the camp.
The conditions created in Latakia, as well as Khalidiyah, al-Amara, Homs, Mhine, al-Qaryatayn, Palmyra, the suburbs of Damascus and Aleppo, today provide decent accommodation more than 35,000 people.
The Syrian government continues to maintain six convoys of comfortable buses, which are ready to move directly to the Rukban camp at any time for the simultaneous evacuation of up to 2,400 people to their chosen places of residence.
According to the basic principles of the United Nations, such as respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of race, language and religion, pursuing a sincere desire to save the suffering people of Rukban who find themselves in inhuman conditions, the Joint Coordination Committee of Russia and Syria decided:
. At 10:00 on March 26, 2019, the local time, the Head of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring in the Syrian Arab Republic, Major General Viktor Kupchishin will hold a coordination meeting at the Jleb checkpoint, to develop agreed step-by-step activities disbanding the Rukban camp.
The representatives of the Syrian Joint Coordination Committee, the Ministry of Municipal Administration and the National Security Bureau will take part in the meeting. .
In order to develop coordinated step-by-step measures for the disbandment of the Rukban camp, we invite representatives of the command of American troops in the al-Tanf zone, as well as the United States diplomatic corps in Jordan and to ensure the presence of tribal sheikhs at the event to attend the coordination meeting.
We also invite the Jordanian side to participate in the meeting, whom are interested in the earliest possible resolution of the disbandment of the Rukban camp, which is the centre of the spread of terrorism, epidemics and poverty, located near the state border of Jordan.
We appeal to the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency in the Syrian Arab Republic and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the UN Secretary-General to send representatives of their offices, as well as representatives of other humanitarian organizations, including the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, to this meeting.
During the event, include a visit to the Rukban camp by the working group consisting of representatives from the Syrian Arab Republic, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Jordan, and the United Nations to monitor, study and assess the situation directly in the places of residence of refugees.
Security of the movement and the reception of the refugees on the territory controlled by the Syrian government will be provided by the security forces of the Syrian Arab Republic in cooperation with the Russian military police units. We also appeal to the US command for its part to ensure the security of the event in the 55-kilometer al-Tanf zone they control.
At the same time, it is proposed to ensure the safety of a working group in the al-Tanf zone from the air by joint efforts, by agreement, with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft of both the Russian Air Force and the US Air Force.
If it is impossible to hold a coordination meeting within a specified time frame, that is, on March 26, 2019, for any objective organizational or technical reasons, we offer reserve dates for holding: April 2 or 9, 2019 at 10.00 – local time , with the same composition and at the same place at the Jleb checkpoint.
If it is impossible to organize a visit to the Rukban camp through the Al-Tanf zone from the territory of Syria, please ensure that it is inspected from the Jordanian side. We are ready for this, in the name of saving the long-suffering residents of Rukban.
We count on the support of the world community and the United Nations in the implementation of our initiative to disband the Rukban internally displaced persons camp and evacuate suffering Syrian citizens.
Head of Russian Joint Coordination Committee on Repatriation of Syrian Refugees – Head of National Centre for State Defence Control of the Russian Federation
Head of Syrian Joint Coordination Committee on Repatriation of Syrian Refugees – Local Administration Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic