The crime of burning a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon confirms the importance of the refugees’ return to their homeland

The recent burning of a Syrian refugee camp in the town of Minya in the north of Lebanon and leaving its residents homeless has not been the only aggressive incident that Syrian refugees in Lebanon have had to bear.

Despite the Lebanese officials’ unanimous condemnation of this crime and describing it as an individual act, this incident brings to mind the attack launched against Syrian refugees in the Lebanese town of Bcharre about a month ago on the backdrop of the death of a Lebanese youth by a Syrian in that area. This incident also reminds of the November, 2019 attacks by dozens of Lebanese youths against a group of Syrian refugees near a bank in Zahle town and against some shops owned by Syrian refugees inside the town of Arsal.

The Governor of North Lebanon Ramzi Nahra strongly condemned the fire incident, saying that “what happened was an individual act that led to a big tragedy and we condemn it as it has nothing to do with our habits and traditions.”  

 The governor revealed that 100 tents were burnt and between 500-700 residents had to leave the camp because their tents were burnt to the ground.

This regrettable incident requires the host countries to provide protection for refugees, stop incitement against them and cooperate with the Syrian state to help them return  to their areas and houses, especially as the Syrian government has repeatedly announced its readiness to bring back the refugees to their villages and places of residence.

The Minister of Social Affairs and Tourism in the Lebanese caretaker government Ramzi Al-Musharrafia, on his part, affirmed that “burning the tents of Syrian refugees is a criminal act that is condemned by all standards.” He called on the Lebanese judiciary to impose the most severe penalties on perpetrators of the crime. 

Moreover, the Lebanese army announced that it has arrested a number of people who are behind the burning of the camp.

The repeated attacks against Syrian refugees in Lebanon are part of the organized crimes committed against them in refugee camps in Turkey under the regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been investing in the refugee crisis for a long time to blackmail Europe and the world, not to mention the crimes being committed against the refugees in Turkey almost daily with the aim of pressuring them to implement the destructive policies of the Turkish regime in Syria and the region in general.

These crimes against the refugees undoubtedly stress the importance of their return to their homeland, as confirmed by the final statement of the International Conference on the Return of Syrian Refugees. They also affirm the need to assist Syria in ensuring safe and voluntary return of the displaced citizens to their places of residence and in reconstructing the areas damaged during the war.

Hamda Mustafa