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First group of Syrian refugees arrives in Uruguay

Friday, October 10, 2014 - 01:30

Syrian refugees play soccer on the grounds of a Catholic residence outside of Montevideo, their new temporary home in Uruguay. Deborah Gembara reports.

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On the outskirts of Montevideo, locals gathered to welcome the first group of Syrian refugees to arrive in Uruguay. Viviana Osimani lives nearby. SOUNDBITE: Neighborhood Resident, Viviana Osimani saying (Spanish): "It's exciting, beyond political parties I think it's an exemplary initiative that the government has taken and I'm very proud. I think these are people who have gone through things that we can't even imagine, so yes, I'm happy that they're here." Forty-two refugees, many of them adolescents and children, traveled in a convoy of buses with a police escort. The group of mostly Sunni Muslims will spend their first months here at this Catholic residence. They're in Uruguay thanks to an initiative by President Jose Mujica who underscored the importance of helping the most vulnerable victims of war. SOUNDBITE: Uruguayan President Jose Mujica saying (Spanish): "We must insist that the world moves in this direction, we can't continue with statements on human rights and that we support human rights if later we don't put our words into action, above all for the children." By late afternoon, some of the refugees could be seen playing soccer on the facility's lush grounds --- a stark contrast to fighting that has driven more than 3 million people to leave Syria. Uruguay has agreed to accept 120 Syrian refugees.

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First group of Syrian refugees arrives in Uruguay

Friday, October 10, 2014 - 01:30