Search

 

Cablegate: Unhcr Update On Jordan and Iraq

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 004251

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF PREL PHUM KPAL IR IZ JO
SUBJECT: UNHCR UPDATE ON JORDAN AND IRAQ

REF: AMMAN 3503

1. SUMMARY: The UNHCR missions for Jordan and Iraq updated
the diplomatic community May 24 on recent refugee
developments in the two countries. In Jordan, UNHCR
acknowledged that return to Iraq is the only option for 314
Iraqi-Palestinians in UNHCR's Ruweished refugee camp, while
the 386 Iraqi-Palestinians previously allowed to leave the
camp and reside indefinitely in Jordan continue to face
difficult socio-economic conditions. UNHCR announced that
268 Iranian Kurds in the no-man's land camp between the Iraqi
and Jordanian border posts have been accepted for
resettlement in Sweden, while another 775 individuals still
await decisions. In Iraq, UNHCR confirmed that the Iranian
Kurd population at Al Tash refugee camp dwindled to 4,500.
1,700 of the camp's original 14,500 residents have
voluntarily relocated to Sulamaniyah in northern Iraq, where
they will receive housing assistance from UNHCR and the
Kurdish Regional Government. Rumors persist that the
remainder of the camp population voluntarily returned to
Iran, but the Iranian Government has not confirmed this.
Also in Iraq, UNHCR has registered 23,000 Palestinian
refugees, most of whom seek protection rather than material
assistance. End summary.

----------------------------
IRAQI-PALESTINIANS IN JORDAN
----------------------------

2. (U) UNHCR Jordan Representative Sten Bronee reported that
as of May 23,
390 people remained at UNHCR's Ruweished refugee camp: 314
Iraqi-Palestinians, 11 Iranians who are presumed to be
members of the Mujahadeen e-Khalq (MEK) and 25 rejected
Somali asylum seekers. While UNHCR is not promoting a return
to Iraq for any of these refugees, Bronee acknowledged that
the only real solution for the Palestinians is an eventual
return to Iraq. The Israelis have ruled out the option of
resettlement in Gaza or the West Bank and Palestinian
authorities will not consider the option of resettlement in
third-countries. Some countries have rejected Palestinian
resettlement based on family ties even among those holding
travel documents. For these reasons, UNHCR is facilitating
resettlement for Palestinians who want to return Iraq.
Bronee added that several Palestinians have expressed
interest in returning to Iraq. (Comment: And some already
have returned to Iraq, as the Iraqi-Palestinian camp
population has dropped from the previous total of 348 just
two weeks ago.)

3. (U) Separately, Bronee reported that the 386
Iraqi-Palestinians who were allowed to leave the Ruweished
camp in August 2003 and reside indefinitely in Jordan
continue to face difficult social and economic conditions due
to GOJ limitations on their residency permits. UNHCR and the
donor community, he said, need to look to other means and
measures to support this community. Although UNRWA had
initially promised to include these Palestinian refugees in
its special hardship case program, budget shortfalls have
prevented the agency from assisting this group. UNHCR seeks
USD 60,000 to provide limited cash and food assistance to
this group of Palestinian refugees through the remainder of
2004. (Comment: We recommend PRM consider funding this
project through a special contribution to UNRWA, which could
include the 386 Palestinians in its special hardship
distribution network. Bronee told refcoord he would welcome
such a funding mechanism, as UNHCR does not have an
assistance distribution network in place for its urban
refugee caseload.)

--------------------
PALESTINIANS IN IRAQ
--------------------

4. (U) 23,000 Palestinians in Iraq have registered with UNHCR
since May 2003, the vast majority from Baghdad. UNHCR said
that most of the Palestinians registered to obtain protection
and not material assistance. Through work with the Iraqi
Ministry of Displacement and Migration (MDM), there is an
agreement to move the 35 remaining displaced Palestinian
families in Baghdad into apartments. UNHCR discussed the
construction of a Palestinian complex for reintegration with
the MDM and Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, but no
decision will be made until after June 30. Some NGOs have
expressed interest in constructing the complex.

--------------------------------
IRANIAN KURDS IN IRAQ AND JORDAN
--------------------------------

5. (U) UNHCR Assistant Head of Mission for Iraq Abdi Osman
confirmed that approximately 4,500 Iranian Kurds (of the
original population of 14,000) remain at the Al-Tash refugee
camp outside Ramadi, Iraq. UNHCR and ICRC are coordinating
with Italian NGO Inter SOS to provide basic services and
protection to the refugees remaining in Al Tash camp. 1,700
Iranian Kurds left the Al-Tash refugee camp during the last
year and now reside in Sulaymaniyeh. UNHCR and Kurdish
Regional Government (KRG) authorities have agreed to
establish housing for these refugees at the Bareeqa complex.
However, the requisite infrastructure and services are not
yet in place. Although rumors persist of Al Tash Kurds
having repatriated to Iran, the Iranian government has not
confirmed this to UNHCR.

6. (U) Separately, 1,043 Iranian Kurds from Al Tash camp
remain in no-man's land between the Jordanian and Iraqi
border posts. UNHCR reported that 286 individuals have been
accepted for resettlement in Sweden, while another 775 await
decisions from resettlement countries.

7. (U) Baghdad minimize considered.

Visit Embassy Amman's classified website at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/amman/ or access the site
through the State Department's SIPRNET home page.
GNEHM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Climate: UN Chief Lauds ‘day Of Hope’ As US Officially Rejoins Paris Climate Accord

The official return of the United States to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change represents good news for the country and the world, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Friday during a virtual event to mark the occasion. The US, under ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>