President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Thursday, stated that efforts are underway to bring back displaced Maldivian families who went to take part in the Syrian war.
President Solih claimed that many Maldivian women with children were forced to accompany their husbands to the country and that they need to be brought back.
He further stated that his administration is currently working with the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations to secure their transfer back to Maldives.
However, the president revealed that neither he nor his administration is aware about the amount of Maldivian refugees currently in Syria
Declaring that the Syrian war was a civil conflict, President Solih revealed that communications between the government and displaced Maldivians in refugee camps are taking place through their families.
President Solih affirmed that further information is being uncovered through their communication with families and international Organizations.
He confirmed that efforts are underway to transfer the Maldivians in Syrian refugee camps to areas within the authority of the UN or the Maldivian government.
National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) previously stated that the main challenge to bringing such displaced Maldivian women and children back is their lack of written documentation.
NCTC further claimed that determining citizenship of children was difficult as a result.
Additionally, President Solih reiterated the advice of international organisations against bringing these individuals back without a proper plan to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into society.
"We are working on finding and securing their transfers back as soon as possible. UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) as well as other countries are telling us that bringing them back and releasing them into society without de-radicalization is a danger."
Moreover, he revealed that work is underway to establish a facility to raise awareness against extreme ideologies and help reintegrate radicalized people.
Many Maldivians became casualties of the Syrian war. However, a definite amount is yet to be revealed.