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Executive Summary for January 18th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including a Nigerian airstrike on a refugee camp that leaves dozens dead, a Greek far-right lawmaker mobbing a primary school and a complaint alleging U.S. border officials are turning away asylum seekers.

Published on Jan. 18, 2017 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Nigerian Airstrike on Refugee Camp Leaves Dozens Dead

A Nigerian air force jet bombed a refugee camp in the country’s northeast, leaving dozens of refugees and aid workers dead.

Nigerian military commander Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor said the airstrike on the camp in Rann was meant to target Boko Haram insurgents, calling the attack a mistake made in the “fog of war,” Agence France-Presse reported.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said its staff counted at least 52 people dead and were treating 120 wounded, while a local government official told the Associated Press more than 100 were killed.

The death toll was expected to rise due to limited resources and the difficulties of carrying out medical evacuations in the remote area.

Among the dead were six aid workers from the Nigerian Red Cross and three employees of a Cameroonian firm contracted by MSF to provide water and sanitation to the camp.

“This large-scale attack on vulnerable people who have already fled from extreme violence is shocking and unacceptable,” MSF’s director of operations, Dr. Jean-Clement Cabrol, said.

Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari expressed regret over the airstrikes, which he called an “operational mistake.”

Far-Right Lawmaker Mobs Greek Primary School

A lawmaker from Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party led a group of supporters into a primary school to protest its plans to hold classes for refugee children.

Yiannis Lagos and his supporters marched into the state-run school in the Perama area, west of Athens, on January 17. “A group of Golden Dawners barged in and started beating us,” Stavros Kalonis, a member of the national teachers’ federation, told local media.

The Greek Education Ministry condemned their “abusive and threatening behavior” toward the teachers. Greek police are investigating the incident.

A statement from Golden Dawn said they had been invited by parents who opposed the school offering classes to refugees. The far-right party, which has campaigned against refugee classes, is the third largest in the Greek parliament.

Groups Say U.S. Turning Away Asylum Seekers at Border

Six immigration and human right groups filed a complaint to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general alleging that U.S. border officials are turning away asylum seekers.

The complaint states the groups started receiving information last summer that some migrants seeking to claim asylum were being refused entry to the U.S. Some were told they needed visas or had to go to Mexican authorities first.

A statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection said there had been no change to U.S. policy that anyone seeking refuge in the U.S. will be given an asylum interview.

The number of asylum seekers reaching the U.S. has surged in recent years. In the 2016 financial year, the number of cases – 92,071 – was nearly double the figure from the previous year, according to the Associated Press.

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