Snowballing crisis: Syrian refugees and Lebanon's struggle

News Bulletin Reports
2023-10-06 | 08:48
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Snowballing crisis: Syrian refugees and Lebanon's struggle
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3min
Snowballing crisis: Syrian refugees and Lebanon's struggle

Like a snowball, the problem of Syrian refugees continues to grow and branch out. 

There have been municipal, ministerial, and even cabinet-level administrative decisions, but they were never sufficient.
This issue has regional and international dimensions, as well as humanitarian and economic aspects, burdening Lebanon and its people.

The military conflict in Syria has largely receded. Still, displacement persists and has even escalated in recent months, manifesting through legitimate crossings with the involvement of Lebanese-Syrian gangs, networks, and mafias.

Observers believed that the Syrian regime benefits from this displacement, as it eases the burden on it and contributes to bringing hard currency into the country, especially since it struggles to secure food and fuel due to the sanctions imposed under the Caesar Act and its consequences.

Furthermore, the regime aims to shift the blame onto the international community, pressuring them to lift the siege.
However, with its porous borders, fragmented state, and inadequate security and military apparatus, Lebanon cannot adequately address the crisis.

The statement by Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah calling not to stand in the way of ships carrying refugees to Europe can also be seen as a way to pressure the European Union to find a solution to the displacement issue and lift the sanctions on Syria.

On the other hand, the international community has a different perspective, urging the Syrian regime to initiate constitutional reforms, make governance changes, end compulsory conscription, and assure frightened refugees of their right to return, all before providing any support for reconstruction or allowing international companies to operate within Syrian borders, which would create many job opportunities.

Two contrasting approaches are being pursued on the Syrian refugee issue, and economically strained Lebanon is paying the heaviest price amid fears of emerging security problems.

Even if Lebanon obtains the data and decides to repatriate illegal refugees and succeeds, despite the task's difficulty, around nine hundred thousand refugees will remain on its soil, and the problem will not be fully resolved.

Thus, a comprehensive solution to the displacement problem is needed, requiring Syrian, Arab, and international efforts for success. 

But unfortunately, there is no clarity in the picture so far, and Lebanon is paying the highest price.
 

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