Lebanese Minister of State for Refugee Affairs Mouin Merehbi said that Russia has not yet provided the necessary guarantees to encourage Syrian refugees to return to their country, adding that the absence of these guarantees led to the failure of the Russian plans to encourage refugees to return.
Merehbi on Friday told the Dailystar newspaper that the Russian plan has failed, adding that Russia has been and will continue to be unable to translate into reality.
“Russia has so far been unable to translate the plan into reality because it has not and will not provide the necessary guarantees to encourage the return of refugees,” Merehbi said. “The Russian plan has fallen flat, and the Russians have yet to admit it.”
Merehbi had previously talked about crimes against refugees returning to Syria. On late November, he told The Associated Press that 20 refugees have been killed since refugee started returning from Lebanon in June. “What we are sure about is nearly 20 (got killed) and there are three cases that I personally documented and I spoke with their relatives and received their photos,” Merhebi said.
The Syrian Coalition has repeatedly warned against the return of refugees before a comprehensive political transition is put in place in Syria. It stressed that refugees cannot return without a safe, neutral environment as was stipulated in UN resolution 2254, pointing out that the Assad regime “will not change its criminal behavior.”
Local and international human rights organizations have warned that Syrian refugees may be subject to persecution if they return to their homes in the regime-held areas. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)