News / Africa

Stranded in Syria, South Sudanese plead for help

Smoke rises from a mosque and another building during heavy fighting in the Jobar area of Damascus Feb. 6, 2013. (Reuters)Smoke rises from a mosque and another building during heavy fighting in the Jobar area of Damascus Feb. 6, 2013. (Reuters)
x
Smoke rises from a mosque and another building during heavy fighting in the Jobar area of Damascus Feb. 6, 2013. (Reuters)
Smoke rises from a mosque and another building during heavy fighting in the Jobar area of Damascus Feb. 6, 2013. (Reuters)
John Tanza
— Around 50 South Sudanese families are trapped amid heavy fighting in the Syrian capital, Damascus, with neither the government in Juba nor the U.N. refugee office stepping in to help them, one of the stranded South Sudanese said Friday.

"Not even one group has reached out to us. The situation is getting worse," Emmanuel Sebastian said in a phone interview.

"Our country doesn't even know there are South Sudanese people in Syria. Many of us could die just like that and no one would even talk about it," Sebastian said.

Last week, the stranded South Sudanese went to the United Nations offices in Damascus to "tell them what's going on with us," Sebastian said.

"Many of us have no places to live so the U.N. made a place -- like a stadium -- and they brought security to guard us and watch over us. The security guards hit us with guns, things like that."

An regional official with the International Office For Migration (IOM), who spoke on condition of anonymity, told South Sudan in Focus that the IOM has to follow rules set by the Syrian government and has no mandate to relocate the South Sudanese to another country.

Sebastian said the group of South Sudanese wants to be taken "outside of the dangerous zone," a term he used to refer to all of Syria.

"We're asking the U.N. office just to take us to a safe place," said Sebastian.

The United Nations said last month that more than 60,000 people are believed to have died in Syria since a pro-democracy uprising began there in March 2011.

In June last year, a U.N. official said the Middle Eastern country was in the midst of civil war.

And last month, the U.N. humanitarian office said that some four million people are in need of urgent assistance and more than two million are displaced inside Syria, with the numbers likely to go up if the violence continues.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid