AFP: The Red Cross on Sunday urged a solution for 190 Iranian Kurds stranded in a no man’s land along the Jordanian border ever since they fled war-torn Iraq three years ago. AMMAN (AFP) The Red Cross on Sunday urged a solution for 190 Iranian Kurds stranded in a no man’s land along the Jordanian border ever since they fled war-torn Iraq three years ago.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) appealed “to those who have the power to conceive and implement a durable and safe solution for these people to do all they can to solve at least one pinprick of tragedy in the region”.
“They subsist as best they can in an extremely precarious environment characterised notably by a lack of access to safe water, inadequate sheltering facilities, unsatisfactory diet, and an absence of tangible hope,” said Paul Castella, head of the ICRC in Amman.
The Iranian Kurds, who had fled the 1979 Islamic revolution in their own country, were until early 2005 resettled in a refugee camp in central Iraq.
But they were forced to flee the violence in Iraq to the no-man’s land on the border with Jordan, a military zone to which the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) does not have access.
They have refused to be relocated to Arbil province in northern Iraq under an agreement between Kurdistan’s regional government and the UNHCR.
And Jordan, which is already home to 1.7 million Palestinian refugees and more than 500,000 Iraqis, has repeatedly refused to accept Iranian Kurds for demographic and economic reasons.
“This situation cannot go in for much longer. All these people want is a place where they can live a normal life,” said the ICRC.
“The present living conditions and especially the absence of any programme to resettle these people in a country where they will feel safe is regrettable.”