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Over 46,000 refugees return back to Syria since the beginning of 2019

Report by Chief of the National Centre for State Defence Control Colonel General Mizintsev

Today we hold another session of joint coordination committees of the Russian Federation and the Syrian Arab Republic.

Implementation of plans for the return of refugees to their homes and the revival of civilian life in Syria continues actively.

A total of 1,628,000 Syrian citizens have already returned to their homes from abroad, with 1,276,000 of internally displaced persons and 352,000 of refugees.

Since the beginning of the year, more than 46,000 Syrian citizens have returned to their homes, including more than 7,800 internally displaced persons and over 38,000 refugees from foreign countries.

Measures are being actively taken to rehabilitate social infrastructure of the country. In total, 284 medical institutions, 1,480 educational institutions, 304 water supply facilities, 300 bakeries, 1,057 electrical substations, and 14,256 industrial enterprises have been recovered and launched in various parts of the country.

Several days ago there were negotiations between Syrian specialists from the civil aviation department with Jordanian airline companies to discuss earliest possible resuming of the air traffic between the two countries.

Air traffic with foreign countries open additional possibilities for repatriation of the Syrians especially from far abroad.

We see positive development in inter-Syrian dialogue. On January 25 the Congress of Eastern Tribes - a landmark event - took place in Ithriyah, northeastern Hama province. This large-scale forum brought together over 6,000 leaders from western and eastern banks of the Euphrates, including elders of the Kurdish, Chechen and Circassian communities. All its attendees expressed common opinion  for preserving the integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.

We are calling for all the countries and those who wish to render possible assistance to the Syrian people in establishing peaceful life. The number of participants for this noble case is gradually increasing. This year the Mongolian People's Republic have joined this process and allocated funds for organising humanitarian supplies to the Syrian people.

However we are still concerned about the situation in the Rukban IDP camp. Living conditions have become even more disastrous.  As the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency admits, that situation is worsening there.

The World Health Organization issued a statement about the death of people in Rukban due to hypothermia, poor sanitation, and skin diseases, influenza, measles, tuberculosis, asthma, lack of medical support, the dire state of fuel and electricity. At the same time, the camp residents are not able to leave its territory.

The leadership of the United States of America announced withdrawal of troops from Syria, but still illegally occupies 55-kilometer zone around al-Tanf, at the same time the military base remains there and does not experience any problems with providing everything necessary, including food, medicines, ammunition and other materiel.

The full responsibility for what is happening to the suffering population of the Rukban camp for years lies with the American side.

We strictly adhere to the position that a long-term settlement of humanitarian problems in Rukban is possible only after the withdrawal of American troops from Al-Tanf and transfering this area to official Syrian authorities. This is obvious.

This week, despite the destructive position of the United States that has led to the catastrophic situation of refugees in the Rukban camp, thanks to the efforts of the Russian Federation, the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs a second humanitarian convoy has been organised in order to provide the first-priority aid to the long-suffering Syrian citizens caught in a difficult life situation.

We observe the movement of the humanitarian convoy, escorted by military police and government forces in Syria in real time.

We do it all the time, transparently and honestly.

If the United States really, as they say, pursue humanistic goals, then what prevents them from doing the same, clearly demonstrating that humanitarian aid has been provided to those who need it, rather than to militants?

Dear colleagues!

Please, make all the necessary efforts to maintain the normal functioning of life support systems at checkpoints, receiving and accommodating refugees to maintain comfortable living conditions for Syrian citizens returning to the country.

I would ask representatives of the Russian and Syrian foreign ministries to contribute to the promotion of the political process in the country and constructive inter-Syrian dialogue, as well as the early resolution of the problem of the Rukban internally displaced persons camp.

I appeal to Joint Coordination Centre.

We have started the implementation of plans for the return of refugees to their homes and the revival of civilian life in Syria continues actively. The results depends on us with you!

I ask all officials of the joint coordination headquarters to maintain constant interaction on the whole range of issues related to restoring peace and returning to the homes of temporarily displaced persons. Respond quickly to any changes in the situation, identify problematic issues and immediately resolve them by joint efforts.

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