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Syrian refugees desperate as camp in South closes

22 January 2015

After already paying thousands last year to take a boat from Syria that was abandoned by smugglers at sea, many of the 345 refugees who were rescued and bought to South Cyprus are already planning another treacherous voyage.

“There aren’t the advantages (in South Cyprus) that there are for refugees in other European countries,” says Salwa, who left her two young boys behind in Syria to flee on the boat with her daughter.

“I can’t bring my children, so it’s completely impossible for me to stay here,” Salwa, not her real name, told French news agency AFP from inside her tent at a temporary camp west of Nicosia.

The refugees who were rescued offshore Cyprus in September have lived in Kokkinotrimithia camp for close to three months, with Greek Cypriot authorities providing their security, food and medical care.

Many had spent several days and nights adrift at sea and were hoping to reach the Netherlands, Germany or Sweden.

The Greek Cypriot authorities say that the camp will close at the end of the month. Last week, the civil defence team, along with the doctors packed up and left the camp. The authorities want the Syrians to apply for permanent asylum in South Cyprus.

This is not what the refugees have in mind, however. Most days in camp are spent plotting their escape from the island – by any means available.

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Source Yahoo News

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