By Hani Hazaimeh
MAFRAQ/RAMTHA – Local authorities and citizens in Mafraq on Monday rejected as baseless a report by a human rights advocacy group claiming that over 100 Syrian refugees have illegally fled into the city through the border.
Last week, the Arab Bridge Centre for Development and Human Rights issued a report saying that more than 100 Syrian citizens (20 families) are being hosted by Mafraq residents and local NGOs after they fled into the Kingdom fleeing the violence and unrest in several Syrian cities.
A senior official in the city (80km northeast of Amman) told The Jordan Times Monday that the report was “inaccurate and misleading”.
“We have scanned the area in coordination with the local community leaders and NGOs operating in the governorate to verify the news. No one confirmed the presence of any Syrian refugees,” Mafraq Governor Salim Rawahneh said.
According to the governor, it is easier and closer for the Syrians to go to the border town of Ramtha than coming to Mafraq, noting that those arriving in Ramtha are legal visitors and they are dealt with as guests rather than refugees.