Jordan’s Rukban: Death camp for Syrians in the desert

By Omer Koparan and Levent Tok

RUKBAN, Jordan (AA) – Bashar al-Assad regime has been preventing any kind of humanitarian assistance entering a refugee camp in Rukban, Syria's border to Jordan, for the last 10 months.

Children who are trying to survive in the the camp — cut off from aid since January although it has been on the agenda of the UN — are waiting for emergency assistance to stay alive.

Currently, a total of 60,000 displaced civilians are living in the camp in the middle of a desert.

Located in the deserts of Syria's border to Jordan, Rukban camp is controlled by groups which are under influence of the Free Syrian Army. The camp consists solely by makeshift tents and muddy shelters.

The displaced civilians who are trying to survive in the camp came from Syria's Deir Ez-Zor, the east and deserts of Homs, Raqqa and some regions of Aleppo.

The people in the camp told Anadolu Agency that they have received UN assistance last 10 months ago, but have been "left to die" since then.

The mayor of the camp, Mohammad Hiyan told Anadolu Agency that the real name of the camp should be "Camp of the Unforgotten", or "Death Camp".

"I am shocked. UN, human rights groups, charity organizations totally forgot about this place," he said.

Hiyan said: "I swear that people in Rukban Camp are having difficulties that no other camp has gone through.

"For 10 months, no aid arrived here. We are nearly out of health centers. We do not even have access to painkillers. Children have not gone to school in the last 3 years."

Hiyan said he even saw "children eating out of garbage in the morning."

Muwaffaq Sadun, a civilian in the camp, said the people are waiting for "immediate assistance."

"We do not receive any kind of treatment. There are no doctors or medicine," he said.

Children in the camp also cried for help, saying, "Don't leave us in the desert" and "Rukban is the camp of the living dead."