Protests In Rukban Demand Immediate International Action
Syrians have staged a sit-in to draw international attention to a lack of humanitarian aid to the internally displaced peoples camp
WASHINGTON D.C., December 14, 2021 – The Syrian American Council calls upon the Biden administration to turn its attention and efforts to immediately help the tens of thousands of residents of Rukban in southern Syria obtain life-saving humanitarian aid. President Biden’s administration has been characterized by strong rebukes of human rights violators — from denouncing China’s treatment of the Uyghurs to standing up to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s malign actions in Ukraine — and should continue this trend of global leadership by standing up for the people of Syria who have suffered under years of violence by the Assad regime and its Russian backers.
The people of Rukban are trapped near the United States military base of al-Tanf and the border of Jordan and have been besieged by the Syrian regime for years. The people of Rukban rely on international donors and organizations for basic medical and food items, and the current situation in the camp highlights the inaction and corruption of the United Nations, which has not delivered aid to the camp since September 2019. Leaders at al-Tanf cannot negotiate with the camp without permission from Washington, and no meeting between Rukban protestors and al-Tanf has taken place. The Syrian American Council reminds the Biden administration that there is a chance to follow through on its trend of promoting global democracy and human rights by taking action in Syria and sending representatives from the United States to meet with the protestors. Any normalization of the Assad regime will undermine these efforts. Global oppression does not happen in a vacuum and human rights abusers must face consequences for their crimes.
“I remember watching President Biden when he was a senator astutely predict the massacre of Srebrenica. He is well aware of Russia’s actions globally, including in Syria, and has not been shy in publicly opposing their actions in the United States and Europe. The United States has the means to provide critical aid and show that Syrians matter as much as those in the West, an important step in rectifying past discrimination and colonialism by the United States by equally promoting the sanctity of life in the camp.” said Darren Fenwick, vice president of the Syrian American Council.