AZAD SEFFO/ NEWS DESK
Recently, several reports have been issued by the UN organizations and other organizations accusing the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) of arresting and detaining civilians, as well as talking about death cases in the camps, but what is the truth about these accusations and what is the situation in the region?
In the beginning, it should be noted that there are dozens of camps in the north and east of Syria that welcome displaced people and refugees from various Syrian regions, the camps are supervised by the Democratic Autonomous Administration, local organizations and some international organizations with a symbolic presence of the United Nations and its organizations which deal only with the Syrian regime and do not perform their duties towards the displaced.
For those displaced from various Syrian regions to the camps, they are received and accommodated in those camps and are provided with assistance. They are free to move around the area and work in the areas where the camps are located without any problems.
Everyone knows that since September 2018, SDF have launched their last campaign to defeat an enemy in its last remaining enclave in the countryside of Deir ez-Zor. This small geographical area included tens of thousands of civilians and the families of IS who were moving with every defeat it received. However, as the area was narrowed and civilians remained trapped in the village of al-Baguz, the last bastion of IS, the Syrian Democratic Forces opened safe corridors for them and took them to al-Hol camp, east of al-Hasakah.
After the opening of safe corridors, civilians and IS' mercenaries families come out and they are sent to the first points of SDF which provide them with all the needs of food, health care and clothes, and security procedures take place as the mercenaries hide among the civilians and their families to avoid arrest.
But recently, reports have been issued by the United Nations and some organizations that accuse the Syrian Democratic Forces of arresting or detaining civilians. The head of the Humanitarian Affairs Office, Dejwar Ahmed Agha who has been acquainted with the details of the displacement from its inception talked about how life is organized inside the camps and the sides that provide assistance.
Dejwar Ahmed said that these accusations are baseless because these forces open safe corridors for the civilians, receive them and provide them with food and water because they come from an area where there is no food, so the fighters remain hungry to secure the needs of the displaced.
Ahmed Agha explained that during the visit of the regional official of the Human Rights Watch, he explained to him all things and how the Syrian Democratic Forces are only taking the displaced from that area and bringing them to the safe areas so that the organizations can receive them and take them to the camps.
Ahmed Agha referred to the security measures adopted by the Syrian Democratic Forces before they received the displaced persons, and said that "security measures are necessary for the Syrian Democratic Forces because IS' elements are hiding among the civilians ... We have not seen any arrests of civilians and those who are arrested are mercenaries. This is confirmed by those who know the mercenaries and assert that they are IS or as a result of the recognition of their friends."
After the completion of the security measures, the displaced are transferred to al-Hol camp, which now has some 51,000 displaced people, including 14,000 who were in the camp. While the rest are either civilians or IS' families; children and women.
Once the displaced people arrive at the camp, a special place is determinted to set up the tent they receive from the camp's administration, and then they get the necessary services available. Currently, there are former civilians and others in the camp who came from IS' areas and IS' families, this needs a way to deal and separate the displaced from each other.
Older displaced are able to enter and leave the camp on a daily basis because many of them work in nearby towns and villages to secure a living. In the camp, they receive food aid and health care. The new displaced do not know the area, and the camp's administration with the help of some international organizations to help them. All the displaced people in the camp, without exception, receive telephone service to communicate with their relatives on an ongoing basis.
For IS' families, the situation is very similar to that of other displaced persons. They also receive food and health assistance and are taken to hospitals for treatment in cases where they are required to be transferred outside the camp, but the situation is that they are in a special section in order to prevent problems in the camp and the absence of reprisals because many civilians have lost their relatives at the hands of IS.
DAA and some international organizations provide the assistances to the refugees in the camp, but UN and its organizations do not move seriously. In this context, Dejwar Ahmed Agha said, "In al-Jazeera region, there are 5 camps for refugees that are run by us, but the United Nations is not functioning, it is dealing with the regime and these camps are not under the supervision of the regime."
He pointed out that they deal with the international organizations other than the United Nations in accordance with memorandums of understanding between the two parties, and together, they provide assistance to the displaced, but with the great displacement from the last pocket of IS, they have been subjected to many pressures. He added, "The great displacement has increased the pressure a lot, so the Autonomous Administration and these organizations cannot cover all the needs of the displaced persons and refugees."
The Red Crescent which provides assistance to the displaced in al-Hol camp and other camps, and with the increase in displacement from the last IS' areas, the pressure has increased considerably, and to accommodate the need for old and new refugees, the co-chair of Humanitarian Affairs' Office said, "Due to the great need, and the fact that the subject is humanitarian, we accept anyone who wants to help, even in some cases the Syrian Red Crescent offers some help."
He said, "The United Nations still remains inactive in its tasks. As I have said, it is not neutral in its dealings. It is dealing with the Syrian regime, in addition to their being very late to intervene... Their bureaucratic procedures are complex and take much time."
Due to this negligence of UN to undertake its duty, DAA depends on its own capabilities and on what the Kurdish Red Crescent and some international organizations operating in the region can provide to serve the displaced. This, of course, leads to some shortcomings in the provision of services, especially with this large displacement and insufficient possibilities of DAA.
The report of the UN mention the death of a number of children in al-Hol camp. Several cases have been reported about that. However, it should be noted that these children left IS' areas where there was no food, no health care, no medicine. Many of them died before reaching the medical points of the Syrian Democratic Forces due to their ill-health in IS' areas.
And added, "But the United Nations' organizations did not meet their responsibilities and did not respond to our request, even though they said that they were ready, referring to the meeting as a confirmation of his speech and the failure of the organizations of the United Nations to implement its promises.
"No one has died as a result of malnutrition in our camps," said Ahmed Agha. There are members of the United Nations and the International Red Cross who see restaurants which were established in the camps that provide thousands of meals a day. Any death, even if it is caused by malnutrition in the camps, the United Nations must account itself for its shortcomings. "
"Where are the UN organizations? Where is UNICEF? Is not it responsible for all children? If they claim, why do children die and they do not help? Why do they accuse DAA of negligence and basically they do not perform their duties as required?
We talk to them about children who have escaped death and need food, clothes and shelter, but they talk to us about education and the opening of schools. Everything happens in a certain order. They should initially save the lives of these children, but they focus on minor things at this sensitive time."
(T/S) ( A,H)