The United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, Regional Representative for West Africa, Liz Ahua, says massive displacement in Nigeria’s North-East zone poses great dangers of statelessness for victims. She said that if urgent actions were not to be taken, some of the 2.4 million Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, or refugees residing in neighbouring countries could lose their nationality and become stateless. She explained that displacement, whether caused by conflicts or natural disasters, was a root cause of statelessness which further increases the risk, if not urgently and properly tackled. She said that it could also become an obstacle to achieving durable solutions for displaced persons and prevent them from rebuilding their lives in dignity as well as impede return and relocation. The crises in the Lake Chad Basin region is a prime example where over 2.4 million people have been displaced by the conflict, including over 1.8 million IDPs in Nigeria. Over 200,000 Nigerians are living as refugees in neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad, and Cameroon without adequate documentation.
Iraqi’s army has built a new pontoon bridge over the Tigris river south of Mosul, after flooding had blocked all crossing points, opening an escape route for families fleeing fighting between government forces and Islamic State. The city’s permanent bridges have been largely destroyed during a six-month military campaign to seize back Mosul from the Sunni Muslim Islamists, which overran it in 2014. “Everything is back to normal”, said a spokeswoman for the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR. Some 20,000 people have escaped from Mosul in the past four days, fewer than before due to the lack of transport, the UNHCR said in a report. Almost 330,000 people have fled Mosul since Iraq started an operation to expel Islamic State in October. They were some of the around 400,000 people still in western Mosul where military forces are trying to dislodge the militants from the Old City. Fighting continued in the Old City where heavy smoke could be seen from the area of the Grand al-Nuri Mosque, from where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a “caliphate” spanning parts of Iraq and Syria.
Libyan authorities released on Wednesday 28 Eritreans and seven Nigerians who were captured and enslaved by Islamic State in Sirte and had been held in detention since the jihadist group lost the city in December. The group of women had been kidnapped by IS when they tried to flew to Europe. They escaped from Sirte, but they had been jailed in Misrata prison during several months, after the conquest of the city by Misrata groups. According to the victims, conditions in Misrata was really difficult, they suffered of starvation and humiliation. They are now under UNHCR’s protections.
Israel is helping terrorist groups in Syria including al-Qaida splinter group al-Nusra, Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council Hussam Edin Aala charged in Geneva on Monday as he condemned the Israeli Air Force strike last Friday against military targets in his country. After the military aggression by Israel inside Syrian land is a proof of the support Israel provides to terrorist groups. According to Syria this is an act that violate the charter of the United Nation, international law and UN Security Council resolutions. Israel defends itself by saying that the airstrike was necessary to stop the flow of weapons to Hezbollah. Anyway the UNHRC is expected to pass a resolution at the end of this week that echoes that calls. It does so at every session.
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea met on Monday in Meerab with the Representative for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Lebanon Mireille Girard, accompanied by her Lebanese affairs’ Advisor, Dominique Tohme, with talks reportedly touching on the current situation of Syrian displaced people in Lebanon and the need to assist them pending their safe return to their homeland. Talks also touched on UNHCR’s assistance in support of the infrastructure of Lebanon as a country hosting at home about a million and a half Syrian refugees.