Aid groups: 8,500 Syrians still held in Jordanian no-go camp

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Aid groups: 8,500 Syrians still held in Jordanian no-go camp
In this Monday, Jan. 29, 2018, photo, two children play with a bicycle in the Azraq camp for Syrian refugees. Some 8,500 Syrians are still locked up behind barbed wire in a no-go section of Jordan's second largest refugee camp, despite Jordanian promises in 2016 that those held in "Village 5" would be allowed to leave after swift security screenings, say aid officials who urge Jordan to live movement restrictions on Syrians. (AP Photo/Sam McNeil)

AZRAQ REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan (AP) — International aid groups say about 8,500 Syrians are still locked up behind barbed wire in a no-go section of Jordan’s second-largest refugee camp, despite initial assurances in 2016 the arrangement is temporary.

The Jordan INGO Forum, an alliance of 60 groups, asked Jordan to expedite security screenings of those held in Azraq camp’s “Village 5,” saying that at the current pace this would take until October 2020.

The alliance asked Jordan in a recent report to lift movement restrictions on Syrians in camps.

Coordinator Yannick Martin said on Tuesday that Jordan has done much to host Syrian refugees, but that “a frank dialogue needs to take place” on movement restrictions.

Jordan says its security is paramount, that it shoulders a heavy refugee burden and that its security vetting is exemplary.