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COP21 Protests 09
Paris, France
By Bruno Giambelluca
12 Dec 2015

Activist makes a protest, which simulates eat dollars.

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COP21 Protests 10
Paris, France
By Bruno Giambelluca
12 Dec 2015

A person raises his hands after protest 'D12' in Champs de Mars, Paris.

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COP21 Protests 11
Paris, France
By Bruno Giambelluca
12 Dec 2015

Thousands of people form a S.O.S. Champs de Mars, Paris. In the background, Eiffel Tower.

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Interview with UNHCR's Antonio Guterres
New York
By Tracey Shelton
29 Sep 2015

Interview with Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and actor Ger Duany, UN Goodwill ambassador, on September 29, 2015. Private interview with UN Foundation fellows.

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Global Refugee Crisis: The Worst Sinc...
Beirut
By b.yaacoub
11 Jun 2015

June 20 is World Refugee Day.

In 2014, global refugee numbers were higher than they have ever been since World War II. In 2015, the problem has only gotten worse.

There are currently over 50 million refugees in the world and more than %50 of them are children. Approximately half of the world's refugees are from just three countries: Afghanistan, Syria, and Somalia.

The response to this massive international crisis has been limited, with most refugee aid programs desperately underfunded. Amnesty International has called the lack of robust international response "A Conspiracy of Neglect." With little help on the way, the future of the world's displaced remains uncertain.

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Libyan Coast Guard Seizes Migrant Boat
Tripoli
By Taha Zag
06 Jun 2015

Libyan coast guard vessels intercept a boat carrying 120 African migrants in the Mediterranean Sea and force it to return to the port of Tripoli.

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Syrian Kurds Seek Refuge in Istanbul
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
14 Apr 2015

After the outbreak of war in Syria in 2012, a large part of the Kurdish population of Rojava in Syrian Kurdistan has sought shelter in Turkey. Many of these refugees passed at first through refugee camps in eastern Turkey and left due to the harsh conditions. Others succeeded to enter Turkey otherwise and to make their own way to major cities. The situation for refugees in Istanbul shows two distinct tendencies. For Syrians, refugees of war are given what is called "temporary protection," which involves more help from the government, while for Kurds, the government of Turkey offers what it calls "temporary asylum." 

In a wide spectrum of refugees with greater or lesser economic capacity, some have found accommodation in neighborhoods with Kurdish communities already present, while other parts of the refugee community have been forced to squat abandoned buildings. To start the asylum process requires an application to the Turkish government and a separate one to the UNHCR (for recognition of refugee status), however some do not posess the necessary identification to even begin. A high percentage of refugees in Istanbul arrived in the city directly from the refugee camps along the Turkey-Syria border. They have less opportunities and greater chances of being arrested by the authorities and being sent back to the camps.

People living in the poorest neighborhoods, such as Tarlablaşı, which extends nearly down to the main tourist streets of the city of Istanbul, are now confronted with a new restructuring plan implemented by the government of Prime Minister Erdogan. The continuous flow of refugees who come to Turkey from Syria, and the difficulties Kurdish refugees face in being recognized as asylum seekers by the Turkish government indicate a situation that is far from ending.

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Life in the Largest Syrian Refugee Ca...
Erbil
By Younes Mohammad
30 Mar 2015

March 30, 2015

Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan



Syrian refugees fled their country and arrived in Iraqi Kurdistan looking for assistance and a safe place to settle after the heavy clashes between the YPG and Al-Nusra front that took place in Rojava. The Kawrgosk refugee camp is currently the largest in Iraq but many of the refugees prefer to live on the outskirts of the city of Erbil. Iraq has recorded a total of 19, 844 Syrian refugees in the camps and aid is distributed to them by the UN, NGOs, and local and national bodies.

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Syrians Scrape A Living in Jordan (3 ...
65,Jordan
By Camilla Schick
12 Mar 2015

LEAD-IN MATERIAL
As Syria’s civil war enters its fifth year, nine million people have been displaced, with 3.7 million of those having fled the country. Millions of Syrian refugees are scraping by in neighboring countries.

Jordan has registered 600,000 refugees – constituting almost 10% of the Hashemite Kingdom’s total population of 6.6 million, though the actual number may be much higher. One fifth now live in refugee camps, including Za'atari camp, the second largest in the world. It's illegal for them to leave Jordan's now overcrowded and increasingly insecure refugee camps, but many are now making the leap to urban areas, seeking work and a better life. Some Syrian families who fled to Jordan at the start of the war are fairing better than others who've arrived more recently. But they’re still struggling to survive beyond the camps, without enough allowance from the UN nor local charities to pay for food and medical care, or taking their chances with working illegally.

Despite not being legally entitled to work, many have taken up jobs at local shops at the discretion of Jordanian employers, while others are too afraid to leave their homes and are surviving on as little as 13 dinars ($18) per person per month from the UN.

UN REPORT
A recent UNHCR urban report, entitled ‘Living in the Shadows’ in January this year, based on 150,000 Syrian refugees living outside of Jordan’s camps, concluded that two thirds of the refugees now in urban areas are living below Jordan’s poverty line. 1/6 are living in abject poverty barely surviving off the equivalent of 1.3 dollars per person per day. The UN has expressed grave concern that refugees are now turning desperate measures to make ends meet, with children dropping out of school and even women turning to prostitution.

JORDAN VALLEY
Khatah is a father in a community of more than 35 Syrian refugees living in UNHCR provided tents in the Jordan Valley by the Israeli border. Some of them have been living like this for 2-3 years. Most are young children. They try to earn some money working irregular days on the farms nearby, but it's not nearly enough to cover medical fees, food, and other expenses. One woman is heavily pregnant with her baby due fifteen days ago, while other adults are suffering stress and chronic illness. Khatah explains he cannot afford to pay 40-50 dinars per ID card for his family of 19 people. He wishes the fighting would stop in Syria and that they would all be able to return to them homeland one day.

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Syrians Scrape a Living in Jordan (1 ...
Jarash
By Camilla Schick
12 Mar 2015

As Syria’s civil war enters its fifth year, nine million people have been displaced, with 3.7 million of those having fled the country. Millions of Syrian refugees are scraping by in neighboring countries.

Jordan has registered 600,000 refugees – constituting almost 10% of the Hashemite Kingdom’s total population of 6.6 million, though the actual number may be much higher. One fifth now live in refugee camps, including Za'atari camp, the second largest in the world. It's illegal for them to leave Jordan's now overcrowded and increasingly insecure refugee camps, but many are now making the leap to urban areas, seeking work and a better life. Some Syrian families who fled to Jordan at the start of the war are fairing better than others who've arrived more recently. But they’re still struggling to survive beyond the camps, without enough allowance from the UN nor local charities to pay for food and medical care, or taking their chances with working illegally.

Despite not being legally entitled to work, many have taken up jobs at local shops at the discretion of Jordanian employers, while others are too afraid to leave their homes and are surviving on as little as 13 dinars ($18) per person per month from the UN.

UN REPORT
A recent UNHCR urban report, entitled ‘Living in the Shadows’ in January this year, based on 150,000 Syrian refugees living outside of Jordan’s camps, concluded that two thirds of the refugees now in urban areas are living below Jordan’s poverty line. 1/6 are living in abject poverty barely surviving off the equivalent of 1.3 dollars per person per day. The UN has expressed grave concern that refugees are now turning desperate measures to make ends meet, with children dropping out of school and even women turning to prostitution.

STORY:
This is the ancient Jordanian city of Jerash, 50 kilometres north of the capital Amman. It’s now home to approximately 8,000 Syrian refugee families / 50,000 refugees.

34-year-old Ali and his younger brother Mohammed work shifts at a local coffee and tea shop. Living as refugees has put a huge strain on Ali's marriage, and he is now separated from his wife, and rarely gets to see his young son. He says they used to live in Al Midan, an affluent Sunni suburb of Syria’s capital Damascus. But when fighting between the Assad government forces and Syrian rebels began in their neighborhood, the family took the heart-wrenching decision to prepare to leave the country. Being the eldest, Ali headed to Jordan first to set things up for the rest of the family. Mohammed and his parents followed after.

The brothers live with their mother Yusra, who warmly invites us into their two-bedroom one-floor home. Yusra was recently widowed. Their father died of health complications shortly after joining them in Jordan. They know how terrible the living conditions are for those now living in Jordan’s over-crowded refugee camps. They tell us they consider themselves among the luckier refugees, who arrived in Jordan almost four years ago at the start of the conflict, having found work and a place to live.

Jordanian shop owner Khaled says he hired the brothers not only because Syrians will work for a lower wage, but also because he wants to help the refugees who are desperately seeking work. He says the Jordanian authorities are fairly lax when it comes to illegal refugee workers. He says all Arabs are brothers, and need to help Syrians until its safe enough for them to return home.

NOTES
We chose to focus the interview on the elder brother – Ali
Their mother, Yusra, did not want us to film her face

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Israeli Soldiers Enter Lebanese Terri...
Marjaayoun
By lotfallah
26 Feb 2015

Marjaayoun, Lebanon

February 26, 2015

A force of about 20 Israeli soldiers crossed the Israeli-Lebanese border on February 26 and reached the Wazzani River. The Israeli force, equipped with military dogs, patrolled an area usually used for recreation by local Lebanese. While Israeli airplanes flew over the area and an Israeli armored vehicle was positioned on the Israeli side of the border, Lebanese soldiers and security forces, as well as the United Nations peacekeeping force members, were on alert.

Video includes clear shots of Israeli soldiers on the Lebanese side of the border, the security fence, an Israeli armored personnel carrier and UN peacekeeping vehicles.

Shotlist

Wide of Wazzani River valley
Wide of Israeli soldiers marching
R-L pan of UNIFIL armored personnel carrier
Wide of two Israeli soldiers on guard
Wide of UNIFIL armored personnel carrier and soldier
Wide of Israeli soldiers marching
Wide of Israeli soldiers and Wazzani River
Medium of Israeli soldier on guard
Wide of Israeli soldiers and Wazzani River
Medium of Israeli soldiers marching
Wide of Israeli soldiers marching along Wazzani River
Wide of Israeli soldiers marching
Wide of Israeli soldiers marching
Medium of one Israeli soldier marching
Wide of Israeli soldiers marching
Wide of Israeli armored personnel carrier
Wide of Wazzani River valley
Wide of UNIFIL armored personnel carrier and transmission pole

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Lebanese Snowstorm Adds to Misery of ...
Aarsal
By TTM Contributor 32
19 Feb 2015

Set largely against a bleak grey sky, this video sheds light on the rough conditions in which many are forced to spend the winter months in Ersal, a northern Lebanese town with a large population of Syrian refugees that's long since been troubled with spillover from the civil war next door. The scene of major clashes between the Lebanese government and Al-Nusra/ISIS in August 2014, the video reveals the town's struggles to cope with harsh winter conditions such as strong wind and snow storms.

Lost Remains: Cypriots Continue Searc...
Nicosia
By James Haines-Young
13 Nov 2014

For many Cypriots, the unknown fate of their loved ones has become an obsession. For over 40 years, hundreds of families have been left waiting for their relatives who went missing during the years of ethnic violence and Turkey's invasion of the Mediterranean island in 1974.

Just over 2,000 Greek and Turkish Cypriots went missing during the inter-communal violence in 1964 and the Turkish invasion – and in a community as small as Cyprus, almost everyone has a first-hand story of someone who never returned.

About 160,000 Greek Cypriots fled south or were expelled after the invasion, losing their homes and properties, while some 50,000 Turkish Cypriots moved north a year later.
Several women, now in their late 80s, said they just want to find their loved ones so that they can die in peace. One even bought a grave plot for her husband 20 years ago. It still sits empty.

Angelilli Zacharia started fleeing south after the second phase of the Turkish invasion on August 14 1974. Along with a group of around 25 other refugees, Angelilli, her husband George and her three children were stopped by a militia of young, armed Turkish Cypriots on the outskirts of Nicosia.

“My husband spoke good Turkish because he had worked with Turkish people. I put my hand on him discreetly and said ‘George, what are they talking about?’ He said that they are taking us all to be executed. He said they would not kill our 15-year daughter because she is very beautiful; they will keep her alive to take her to Turkey. As soon as he said these words, I fell down to the ground,” said Angelilli.

All the refugees were taken to a village and detained; all the men were separated from the women and children so George Zacharia and his son were separated from the rest of the family.

“I am still waiting and I will still carry on waiting even though I am crippled, I will go on, I am waiting for them with big agony. I want the remains so I can take care of them before I die. I bought a grave plot 20 years ago and I’m waiting. That is the worst pain of all. He was missing for so many years but when the children and grandchildren were young I was occupied with them; now the pain is worse [as they are older] and I am less occupied. I am really ready for him to return.” says Angelilli.

Violence between Greek and Turkish communities in Cyprus flared up in 1964. In that year alone, 193 Turkish Cypriots and 133 Greek Cypriots were killed, with an additional 209 Turks and 41 Greeks missing, presumed dead.

In July 1974, a coup in Cyprus, supported by the ruling military junta in Greece, prompted Turkey to send some 40,000 troops and occupy the island. The invasion cost another 3,000 lives and injured thousands of others, while 1,619 people were reported missing.

A unique mission for the United Nations has brought together Greek and Turkish Cypriot representatives in the Committee for Missing Persons (CMP) to find, identify, and return remains to the families.

Relatives give CMP their remembrances of their missing people to pinpoint their last known locations at the time, helping the excavation teams to look where to dig in. Once remains are found, DNA samples are taken and matched with those of the relatives. After a positive result, the families are notified to go collect the remains from the laboratory.

Nicos Theodosioun, the head of an association of Greek families of missing person, says that despite the pain, after all this time the families simply want to find and rebury their loved ones.

Nico's brother also went missing during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. “In the case of a brother [being missing] you definitely grow up quickly because your parents and you are in mourning but without a body but at the same time you cannot mourn because you hope that he will come back alive – especially for the first few years,” he says.

Nicos points out that no one is looking for reparations or revenge: "They just want peace and the relief of putting this loss behind them."

Although the association is of Greek families, it also fights for the missing Turkish Cypriots: “The biggest number of Turkish missing people is from 10 years earlier, from the 1963-64 inter-communal problems. We as an organization say that if the Greek authorities have any information, they should give it as well.” says Nicos.

In 1963 Raif Raif’s father, a Turkish Cypriot, was working for the national telephone/telegraph company on the Greek side of the island. On December 22, 1963 he was told the situation was safe enough for him to go to work. Throughout the night he had been in contact with colleagues and friends in the north, however at some point during the night he disappeared.

Raif has heard stories of what happened to his father but still doesn’t know the truth, although he thinks, from details he has learned, that he was shot while riding his bicycle by members of the Greek resistance movement EOKA.

“Many people have been found, but still we haven’t [found my father],” says Raif.

Reports indicate that the bodies of 21 Turkish Cypriots were collected from a hospital in south Cyprus and taken to a cemetery in north Nicosia and buried without the families being told. Raif and others are asking the North Cypriot government to allow the CMP to dig in the cemetery and identify the bodies, however some believe that the remains of others are also there so the government is reluctant.

“If there are plenty of other people there too we have to find them. Let people find their families, friends and sons. So I think we will keep pressing them, the CMP are helping us and pressing the government as well so I hope we will find, I hope so [smiles].”

Others were fortunate to finally recover the remains of their missing family members. However, the experience remains engraved in their memories.

George Hadjipantelis, from the village of Yialousa, now in northern Cyprus, was trapped after the Turkish invasion in 1974 and remained enclaved for several months. On August 19, 1974, the Turkish Army took nine people, including George’s father Savvas Hadjipantelis away for questioning. They were told he would be returned in a few days but this didn’t happen.

“It’s not just the absence of a father but also the burden of having a missing father,” said Hadjipantelis, whose father’s body was recently identified and returned to the family.

In 2007, some Turkish Cypriots gave information of the location of a mass grave near the village of Galatia, in northern Cyprus. Excavations were done on the grave and the bodies of the nine missing people from Yialousa were found alongside two others from nearby villages.

“When it was announced to me that they had found him, it was very difficult psychologically. Because you always have hoped that maybe he is alive, you have that hope always,” continued Hadjipantelis.

His mother was convinced that her husband was still alive somewhere and asked not to be told if Savvas was found. Hadjipantelis believes that she was afraid to face the idea that he was dead: “However, now she is so much calmer and more relaxed. She goes to the cemetery where he is buried and lights a candle for him, she still has health problems but she doesn’t have the pain she carried for so many years,” he continues.

Slowly but surely, people like Hadjipantelis – who wondered for decades what had happened to their relatives – are having their questions answered.

The CMP team looks for remains in the heart of the buffer zone that still separates Turkish and Greek Cypriot forces. Archeologists also rely on information from locals to know where to dig, and depending on the site, the CMP can take months to excavate a single possible burial ground.

On one occasion, a farmer contacted CMP team and claimed he had been told several bodies had been dumped in a well on his land in 1974, however the dig yielded no sign of the remains.

Since 2007, the CMP has recovered around half of the 2,001 people who went missing. A team of doctors, archaeologists and forensic experts work to identify the remains. In a storage room, bone fragments and partial skeletons of Cypriot citizens await identification.

In 1983, the Turkish Cypriots unilaterally declared independence under the name of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The move was rejected by the UN and the Republic of Cyprus. And while the island is still divided, the families keep on searching and waiting for their missing ones.

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Golan heights: Syrian Rebels Show off...
By Abdu al-Fadel
01 Sep 2014

September 1, 2014
Quneitra, Golan, Syria

Opposition Fighters from the Rebels of Syria Brigade show off captured UN and Syrian Army Posts in the Golan. Footage gives an inside look at the captured posts, which are about 2km away from Israeli Army positions on the Golan Heights. When fighters from another militia, Jabhat al-Nusra, captured the UN post they apprehended 40 UN peacekeepers stationed at the position. Footage shows UN equipment and close and wide shots of the area.

Translation:

Young fighter, Rebels of Syria Brigade:

"Grace is to God the Almighty the “truthful promise” battle.

When we first started the incursion it was from this side and we pressed on until the (regime) army detected our presence here. That was when we engaged them from our location near that barbed wire. The skirmishes continued as we pressed forward. The big battle took place when we got here and the liberation of this checkpoint began."

Military commander Abu Raed from the Rebels of Syria front:

"The 'truthful promise' fight is just the beginning. After the liberation of this checkpoint we will press on toward the capital Damascus to liberate it from the vile regime and the cursed Shia who support it (regime) and fight along side of it."

Reporter: Is the entire checkpoint and crossing being held by rebels now?

Abu Raed: "Yes, the entire crossing is rebel held thanks to the strength of almighty god and the heroic efforts of the Mujahadin, who have given their lives for God to accomplish this great deed."

Reporter: What about the rest of the stages of the operation?

Abu Raed: "The stages were the crossing itself, the city of Quneitra and Hamidiya and these are all held by the rebels now."

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Finding Sanctuary in Gaza
Gaza
By Alison Baskerville
15 Jul 2014

Following a warning from the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), over 600 people evacuated their homes in the north of Gaza and have taken refuge in a UN School. Many fled few possessions and the school is now concerned that they will run out of water and supplies. "I don't know how much longer we will be able to go on in this situation," commented Abdil Sawan, the UN representative within the school.

The UN now estimates that 17,000 people have now left their homes.

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Malakal, South Sudan
Malakal
By Gianuca Panella
10 Jul 2014

This month South Sudan hits the 3-year anniversary of its creation as a state, amidst war, poverty, and disease.

Since its civil war erupted in December, upwards of 80,000 civilians have fled to eight different UN camps across the country. In May, the UN warned that South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, was on the brink of genocide and famine. Recently, a cholera outbreak swept the country, further exacerbating the dire emergency situation. Over 1 million South Sudanese citizens have fled their homes in total.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Aimee Ansari, the South Sudan Country Director of CARE International, who has worked on humanitarian crises across the globe. “It is crisis on top of crisis here. There are no breaks.”

Last month, the rainy season began, complicating the transport and distribution of life-saving emergency aid across the country. International NGOs and their local partners are working around the clock, but the UN warns that only about 40% of their budget goals on the South Sudan crisis have been met.

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FDLR Surrenders Its Weapons
Buleusa
By Gaïus Kowene
30 May 2014

Surrendering FDLR combatants lay down their weapons and hand over 102 guns to the Southern Africa Development Community, SADC, as the Congolese government and the UN mission witness the ceremony in Buleusa, DR Congo on May 30, 2014.

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FDLR Surrenders Its Weapons
Buleusa
By Gaïus Kowene
30 May 2014

UN helicopters carrying the Congolese government, SADC and MONUSCO representatives land at Buleusa, DR Congo for the FDLR surrendering ceremony on May 30, 2014..

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FDLR Surrenders Its Weapons
Buleusa
By Gaïus Kowene
30 May 2014

FDLR's interim president, Victor Biringiro completes a review of his surrendering contingent before handing them over to the Southern African Development Community at Buleusa, DR Congo on May 30, 2014..

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FDLR Surrenders Its Weapons
Buleusa
By Gaïus Kowene
30 May 2014

Family members of the FDLR combatants watch the surrendering ceremony at Buleusa, DR Congo on May 30, 2014.

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FDLR Surrenders Its Weapons
Buleusa
By Gaïus Kowene
30 May 2014

Surrendering FDLR combatant sings and dances with a member of his family to express his joy for having the support of the international community during the official ceremony in Buleusa, DR Congo on May 30, 2014.

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FDLR Surrenders Its Weapons
Buleusa
By Gaïus Kowene
30 May 2014

North Kivu vice governor, Feller Lutaichirwa , Ray Torres and head of office Monusco Goma, inspecting weapons handed over by Rwandan FDLR combatants during their surrendering ceremony in Buleusa, DR Congo on May 30, 2014.

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FDLR Surrenders Its Weapons
Buleusa
By Gaïus Kowene
30 May 2014

FDLR's interim president, Victor Biringiro signs a declaration ending their armed insurgency and leaving his troops and their dependents in the hands of the Southern African Development Community and the Congolese government at Buleusa on May 30, 2014.

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FDLR Surrenders Its Weapons
Buleusa
By Gaïus Kowene
30 May 2014

Family members of FDLR rebels singing and dancing at the surrendering ceremony at Buleusa, DR Congo on May 30, 2014.

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FDLR Surrenders Its Weapons
Buleusa
By Gaïus Kowene
30 May 2014

"We congratulate you for taking this wise decision to disarm. We will never tolerate some of you returning to the forest to disturb peace.
SADC will accompany you in your political integration process and will
ensure that the agreed resolutions are respected. "
Lieutenant Colonel Omari Ujani, Southern African Development Community representative

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FDLR Surrenders Its Weapons
Buleusa
By Gaïus Kowene
30 May 2014

The DRC’s head of demobilisation program, General Delphin Kayimbi and SADC representative, Lieutnant Colonel Omari Ujani, at the FDLR surrendering ceremony at Beleusa, DR Congo on May 30, 2014..

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FDLR Surrenders Its Weapons
Buleusa
By Gaïus Kowene
30 May 2014

FDLR's interim president, Victor Biringiro shaking hands with North Kivu's vice governor, Feller Lutaichirwa, after their 20 year old rebellion in Buleusa, eastern DR Congo.
"No one in this world can claim to build his country by taking up arms "Now that you become civilians , you have the possibility of claiming your right to political participation. The Congolese government will
ensure that you and your dependents are safe and do not miss anything."
Feller Lutaichirwa, Northen Kivu Vice-Governor

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FDLR Surrenders Its Weapons
Buleusa
By Gaïus Kowene
30 May 2014

Ammunition surrendered by FDLR combatants to the Southern African Development Community and the Congolese government at the ceremony in Buleusa, DR Congo on May 30, 2014.

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FDLR Surrenders Its Weapons
Buleusa
By Gaïus Kowene
30 May 2014

Victor Biringiro, FDLR’s interim president, during the surrendering ceremony in Buleusa, DR Congo on May 30, 2014.
" We lay down our weapons because we want the SADC to help us win an inter-Rwandan frank, sincere and highly inclusive dialogue. We need a
secure space to freely exercise our right to political participation".

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FDLR Surrenders Its Weapons
Buleusa
By Gaïus Kowene
30 May 2014

One hundred and five surrendering FDLR combatants at the Kateku primary school where the official ceremony with the international community representatives was held in Buleusa, DR Congo on May 30, 2014..

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FDLR Surrenders Its Weapons
Buleusa
By Gaïus Kowene
30 May 2014

North Kivu Vice Governor Feller Lutaichirwa, Ray Torres, MONUSCO Goma’s head of office, and François Rukolera, FDLR president advisor walk up to the compound where the Rwandan rebels surrendering ceremony will take place at Buleusa, DR Congo on May 30, 2014.

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FDLR Surrenders Its Weapons
Beleusa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
By Gaïus Kowene
29 May 2014

The Rwandan Hutu rebel group that has been battling the government in Kigali for the past twenty years has taken what it says is the first step in disarming its fighters and starting a political fight instead.
At a ceremony on Friday May 30 at Buleusa in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo more than 100 fighters of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, FDLR, surrendered and handed in their weapons.
But the FDLR warned that continuing the process of peace depends upon the government of Rwandan President Paul Kagame agreeing to talks.
The leader of the rebel group General Victor Byiringiro said “We call up on the International community to help us get an open dialogue with the Rwandan Government”.
The Hutu led FDLR is made up of former Rwandan Army soldiers and Hutu militia who fled the country after the 1994 genocide and found refuge in Congo.
Lieutenant Colonel, Omari Ujani, representative of the SADC, Southern African Development Community promised surrendering combatants and their dependents security. He announced the creation of a joint commission to make sure their demobilization process is effective. Omari also assured them of SADC diplomatic support for their political reintegration in Rwanda. “As you freely decided to lay down your guns, we don’t want you to go back in jungle disturbing locals’ peace”, he said.
The surrendering combatants will wait in a transit camp in Kanyabayonga, a village near Congo's Virunga National Park, before being relocated in Equateur province.

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Famine Threatens South Sudan
Juba
By Jacob Zocherman
21 May 2014

May, 2014
South Sudan

Renewed fighting and large-scale displacement in South Sudan is now sowing the seeds of a potential famine, according to the UN. Although for some South Sudanese, starvation is already a reality.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 01
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

The district of Tarlabasi is an intricate labyrinth of streets surrounded by now-decaying houses from the Ottoman era. The street here has acquired greater importance than the home, and women and their children have developed a particular relationship to the space.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 02
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

A young Kurdish girl has lost her mother while crossing the Turkish-Syrian border. She and her other family members have no valid documents to stay in Turkey, and she has also been denied access to education.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 03
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

Fleeing from the war, many children have been separated from their families. The refugee community requires specific assistance programs that deal with psychological trauma of children.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 25
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

The opportunity to grow up in a family environment and the right to national identity and to education established by the UN Convention on the Rights of Children are not only destroyed by war, but are perpetuated by a lack of readiness on the part of host countries.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 04
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

Access to the labor market, health care and education are not guaranteed to refugees without passports. The temporary nature of everything to do or own defines their status as refugees.

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 05
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

Istanbul, Tarlablasi. Even inside abandoned places Kurds providing refuge and sources and arranged the room "of the first night marriage".

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Syrian Kurds in Istanbul 06
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
04 Apr 2014

A refugee woman walks through a side street in Tarlablasi. The continued violation of the human right to move away from a war zone and to remain in another country is a reality not end unless governments take resolute measures.