10 October 2012 1:27 pm | | 6


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Shousha refugee camp’s tents

United Nations High Commission for Refugees representative Ursula Schulze-Aboubacar, has called on Tunisian authorities to support efforts to close the Shousha refugee camp in south-eastern Tunisia by June 2013.

Schulze-Aboubacar made the statement yesterday, following her meeting with Abderrazak Kilani, the minister in charge of relations with the National Constituent Assembly in Tunis, according to TAP.

Kilani also expressed his support for the inclusion of a clause in the new Tunisian constitution addressing the right to asylum and principle of non-expulsion for refugees.

The camp, close to the Libyan border, was set up to accommodate refugees and displaced persons following the outbreak of violence in Libya in 2011. At its peak the refugee camp held several hundred thousand people.

The camp still hosts 2124 refugees and asylum seekers mainly from East Africa (Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan) but also from some Sub-Saharan African countries, Palestinian territories and Iraq. On September, 20, Eritrean refugees started a sit-in at the Shousha camp calling for their resettlement in Western countries.

Nabil Ben Bekhti, protection officer of UNHCR Tunis office stated to Tunisia Live that the Shousha camp was conceived to be a “transition camp”, and that Tunisian authorities also supported its removal.

“We have undertaken steps towards helping Tunisia with the closure of the camp,” he explained.

“It is hoped that Tunisian authorities will coordinate with concerned ministries, ” Ben Bekhti continued, in order to have the camp dismantled by June 2013.

Ben Bekhti said that the closure of the camp will help the UNHCR concentrate its efforts on emergency aid in other conflicts zones such as Jordan where UNHCR is helping with 90,000 refugees from the Syrian conflict.

He also stated that the process of resettlement of refugees to Western countries in the last few months was made possible by “obliging host countries to accelerate procedures of hosting refugees and asylum seekers.” These efforts helped to relieve Tunisia from some of the burden of hosting this camp within its borders.

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Comments (6)

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  1. abdi says:

    we are refugees with out resstlement. we do not want to integrate. if UNHCR will go in tunisia, we will be united islamic organisation in tunisia

  2. suweyd abdikarim says:

    iam somalian refugee aim came in shoucha cump marso 2011 up to now stille i hant.t resultament i feel manay problem in shoucha during iam stay in shoucha cump i can.t back my cauntury unhcr lost my wife and to gather iam feel now in the preson like libiya when i wos in the preson in libiya to day why unhcr to what they want do pl.s and pl.s i requestin eny countury any human right to see my problems becaose un hcr isnot keeps refugee tights

  3. Ali hussein says:

    I am somali refugee in shousha camp i came in shousha camp 08/03/2011/ upto now i don’t resettlenment in the world specialy western countries so my questions is when the camp it’s close what can i do, even if i try to return to my country i fear for my self becouse our country it’s continue the war abuv 20 year another way if i try to return to libya i will fear kednapid or kill for me so any countries in the western my request don’t watch helpless please or please help me, any one to help us please contect this number +21627420385) thans you to help me

  4. Ali hussein says:

    I am refugee in shousha camp before one year and ten month i came here, upto now i don’t get resettlenment to western countries so when the close in the camp what can we do we need salution as soon as posible plz don’t watch helpess plz helpe us.

  5. ibrahim says:

    hi all of unhcr workers and services of shousha refugee camp i am a refugee person who takes a american reject and after that sorrowfull i don’t get any mercy no one talks to me or us we are goin to be mad because we stays here for nearly two years and we don’t have any solution so we need or i need help please please please unhcr we need to help us what ever you can do thanks and i am waiting you as soon as possible thanks

  6. al sudani says:

    This camp occurred many abuses if UN tells the story of transparency ….They are absent in this place how hands refugees files and their secrets for their fellow refugees ..Sudanese where we suffered from it as practiced in our files ugliest forms racial and ethnic discrimination …And tell the Sudanese of Arab descent .!!!!. I well come back…………

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