Germany accepts 400 Iraqi refugees

Posted: Sunday,

Germany has accepted four hundred Iraqi refugees into its borders as part of an EU scheme, which aims to take in 10,000 people who have been displaced due to the violence that has plagued the country since the US-led invasion in 2003.

The first group of 400 includes many Christians and people from other religious minorities in Iraq. Until now, many have been languishing in refugee camps in Syria and Jordan.

Germany is set to take in 2,500 people from Iraq in total, who will be housed in the northern part of the country and given a three-year extendable residency permit.

Julia Duchrow, of Amnesty International, said, “The arrival of the first people represents a success on our behalf, but we need to bear in mind that this is only the first phase of a long process,” reports AFP.

In addition, Guenter Burkhardt, of Pro Asylum, said that the top priority was to help refugees have a “successful integration” so that they do not end up living on the periphery of society.

The refugees who were accepted were subject to a number of criteria agreed by the EU and German government. Single mothers, people with post-traumatic stress and those with family connections in Germany were more likely to be accepted.

Those who had criminal records or who were members of the Baath party during Saddam Hussein’s reign were not eligible to be accepted.

Other countries involved in the scheme include the UK, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

There are currently around two million refugees from Iraq living in Jordan and Syria. One Iraqi minister has previously said that Iraqi Christians should remain to help rebuild the country, in spite of frequent attacks by Islamic extremists and criminals.