Lebanese officials to clamp down on Syrian refugees in Bsharri district
Lebanon currently hosts over 1.3 million Syrian refugees, making up 27 percent of the population (File/AFP)
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Bsharri authorities are seeking tighter controls on Syrian refugees in the district northeast of Beirut Monday in an attempt to preempt any clashes after the showdown in Arsal between Syrian militants and the army earlier this month.
The new recommendations were agreed at a meeting attended by the local governor that brought together area mayors and security officials.
Recommendations included increasing cooperation between the municipalities and the Internal Security Forces by exchanging information on any developments or incidents that might have an impact on security.
They also want to require Syrian refugees to keep their papers up to date and carry registration cards from UNHCR, along with implementing a curfew on the movement of refugees on motorcycles after 7pm and shutting down all businesses operated or owned by Syrians.
Other recommendations called for cracking down on violations, especially the use of unlicensed motorcycles, increasing municipality control, monitoring the assistance offered by donors, and updating information on the number and whereabouts of refugees through regular reports to be submitted by the municipalities.
There are more than 1.3 million Syrian refugees estimated to be in Lebanon, with the highest concentrations in north Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley.
Villages and towns throughout the country have introduced regulations to keep control and track of the Syrian refugees they are hosting, a process that many stepped up following the clashes between the army and Syrian militants who overran the northeastern border town of Arsal.
Some 19 soldiers, in addition to more than 15 civilians and 60 militants, were killed in the clashes.