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Diana Alghoul

Lebanon displaces Syrian refugees, forces them to close businesses

Syrian refugees face dire conditions in Lebanon after fleeing for their lives [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 3 April, 2017

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Syrian refugees in Lebanon are being evicted and their businesses are being shut down, following new labour laws that have been subject to global condemnation.
Following new labour laws that have been subject to global condemnation, Syrian refugees across Lebanon are being evicted and their businesses are being shut down.

The mayor of the Lebanese municipality of Miniara, Tony Abboud told local media that that he plans on expelling Syrian refugees if the organisations that had promised to sponsor them do not cover the full cost of hosting the refugees.

"The municipality can no longer tolerate covering the expenses of hosting the refugees,” Abboud told Lebanese newspaper al-Nahar.

“The refugees are putting pressure on the vital infrastructure of Miniara; they are putting pressure on our waste and sewage, electricity and water resources,” he added.

Lebanese reporter Kareem Chehayeb told The New Arab that the mayor of Miniara had given Syrians 20 days to pack up and leave the municipality, but it is currently unclear whether the refugees have already started vacating the area.

Chehayeb added that it is unlikely for the organisations sponsoring the refugees to pay their expenses, leaving Syrians stuck in the middle of the administrative quarrel.

A similar occurrence had also happened in the town of Hadeth in February, when the local mayor George Aoun demanded that businesses owned by Syrian nationals be shut down.

The mayor of Naameh municipality, Charbel Matar, is another local official who has called for Syrian businesses to be closed down, in an attempt to drive Syrian refugees out of the area.

Read also: A Lebanese council bans local businesses hiring Syrian workers

Such crackdowns on Syrian businesses are the result of an order from the Lebanese Labour Ministry stating that Syrian nationals in Lebanon are restricted to taking up jobs in the farming, construction and janitorial sectors, in a blow to Syrian refugees.

The Lebanese government claims that such restrictions aim to ease the pressure on Lebanese nationals, but there has been little evidence of such measures being effective.

There are currently over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon as a result of the current Syrian war. While Syrian refugees had managed to escape the war in their country, many of them live uncomfortable lives in refugee camps across the region.

Read also: The plight of Lebanon's working street children

The Assad regime started the Syrian war by violently crushing protests that started in March 2011 and corrupted the uprising through measures that include allowing extremists out of prisons in order to 'jihadify' the revolution.

Since then Assad and his state and militia allies have all been responsible for various war crimes, including barrel bombs, starving thousands by imposing sieges and using chemical weapons attacks.

The war has resulted in 4.8 million Syrian refugees being scattered all over the world, six million internally displaced persons and has left 13.5 million Syrians requiring some form of humanitarian assistance.

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