Jordan resumes repatriation of stranded nationals

Around 2,000 repatriated Jordanians are still completing mandatory quarantine. (File/Petra)
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Updated 06 July 2020

Jordan resumes repatriation of stranded nationals

  • The government earlier halted the repatriation mission after recording a spike of COVID-19 infections in the country
  • Over 20,000 Jordanians have been repatriated over the mission’s last three stages

DUBAI: Registration for the fourth stage of Jordan’s repatriation mission is ongoing, an official said, with the first flight to begin on July 10.

Over 20,000 Jordanians have been repatriated over the mission’s last three stages, the country’s Director of the Crisis Management Cell Mazen Faraya said.

The last phase involved returning about 7,000 citizens, Faraya added, as reported by state news agency Petra.

He said the new batch of returnees travelling by land – estimated at 500 – will arrive on July 10, and will run for a period of three days from countries such as Syria, Saudi Arabia, Palestine and Iraq.

The government earlier halted the repatriation mission after recording a spike of COVID-19 infections in the country – particularly among the returnees.

Faraya mentioned around 2,000 repatriated Jordanians are still completing mandatory quarantine.

The resumption of repatriation comes as the country continues to reopen local industries in a bid to counter the pandemic’s impact.

Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Majd Shweikeh has announced the country would open application for people who want to visit Jordan for medical reasons.

She said 20 hospitals have expressed readiness to start receiving medical tourists.

Shweikeh noted there was a steep increase of people seeking medical treatment in Jordan, and measures have been put in place to ensure safety amid the pandemic.


UN warns of possible ‘war crimes’ in Turkish-controlled Syria

Updated 37 min 34 sec ago

UN warns of possible ‘war crimes’ in Turkish-controlled Syria

  • The victims include people perceived to be allied with opposing parties or as being critical of the actions of the Turkish-affiliated armed groups, Bachelet’s office said
  • Those affiliated groups have also seized and looted houses, land and property without any apparent military necessity, said OHCHR

GENEVA: Armed groups in the area of northern Syria controlled by Turkey may have committed war crimes and other violations of international law, the UN rights chief said Friday.
Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the situation in those areas of Syria was grim, with violence and criminality rife.
In a statement, Bachelet’s UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) said it had noted an “alarming pattern in recent months of grave violations,” having documented increased killings, kidnappings, unlawful transfers of people, seizures of land and properties and forcible evictions.
The victims include people perceived to be allied with opposing parties or as being critical of the actions of the Turkish-affiliated armed groups, Bachelet’s office said.
Those affiliated groups have also seized and looted houses, land and property without any apparent military necessity, said OHCHR.
Furthermore, increased infighting among the various Turkish-affiliated armed groups over power-sharing was causing civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure.
Turkey controls large stretches of northeastern Syria through various armed groups, and is conducting operations aimed at driving out Kurdish militias and extremists.
In October last year, Turkish forces and their Syrian proxies occupied a 120-kilometer (75-mile) stretch of land inside the Syrian border from Kurdish forces.
Ankara has also deployed forces in several military posts it established in northwestern Idlib as part of a 2018 deal with regime ally Moscow, while Turkey also controls a stretch of territory along its border in neighboring Aleppo province following a series of military offensives since 2016.Bachelet’s office said it had documented the abduction and disappearance of civilians, including women and children.
It also said that from the start of the year until last Monday, it had verified the deaths of at least 116 civilians as a result of improvised explosive devices and explosive remnants of war, while a further 463 civilians were injured.
“I urge Turkey to immediately launch an impartial, transparent and independent investigation into the incidents we have verified, account for the fate of those detained and abducted by the affiliated armed groups and hold accountable those responsible for what may, in some instances, amount to crimes under international law, including war crimes,” Bachelet said.
“This is all the more vital given that we have received disturbing reports that some detainees and abductees have allegedly been transferred to Turkey following their detention in Syria by affiliated armed groups.”
Meanwhile Bachelet voiced concern that parties to the conflict in Syria were using essential services as a weapon.
“Impeding access to water, sanitation and electricity endangers the lives of large numbers of people, a danger rendered all the more acute amid fighting a global pandemic,” she said.