UNHCR validates number of Syrian returnees from Jordan

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) on Monday (March 11th) said a manual validation of the number of Syrian refugees who returned home from Jordan after the reopening of the border crossing between the two countries late last year is currently ongoing.

"Since the Jaber-Nassib border reopening until February 26th, the UNHCR was able to identify 12,846 Syrian refugee returnees based on the departure lists provided by the Jordanian government," UNHCR spokesman in Amman Mohammad Hawari told The Jordan Times.

The refugees who chose to return to Syria "have largely done so by themselves", he said.

The UNHCR has a presence at the border which is used "for liaison, addressing concerns that arise and observing the safe and dignified departure" of returnees, he said.

"Negotiations with the government on expanding UNHCR’s role at the border are currently ongoing," he added.

"As the situation in Syria is evolving and people decide to voluntarily return, it is important to safeguard space for free and informed decision-making and respect for such decisions," he said.

However, at this stage, the UNHCR does not yet facilitate nor promote returns to Syria, he added.

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