Iraq News - Local News - Baghdadpost

Iraq accelerating return of displaced in plan to 'close the file' in 2020

The Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement announced on Friday that a new batch of displaced civilians in four provinces has been returned to their places of origin as part of the government's stepped-up efforts to close the camps before the end of 2020.

More than five million Iraqis were displaced as a result of the 2014 rise of the ISIS in Iraq to other areas within the country, the Kurdistan Region, and neighboring nations.

Following the territorial defeat of the extremist group in Iraq in late 2017, the Iraqi government has sought to return them to their hometowns, many of which have been reduced to rubble or have little to no infrastructure or public services. Multiple international organizations including the UN have loudly voiced concerns that many of their areas are also still extremely unsafe.

Migration and Displacement Minister Evan Faiq said in a statement that 3,127 displaced persons from camps in Kirkuk, Khanaqin, Nineveh Plain, and Salahuddin have returned today to their former homes within the provinces of Diyala, Nineveh, Salahuddin, and Anbar.

“Those returning to their homes constitute a new batch of displaced persons wishing to return within the emergency returnee plan organized by the Ministry of Migration and Displacement," Faiq said.

Various European humanitarian organizations in mid-November criticized Iraq’s decision to close down displacement camps, arguing that it would endanger hundreds of thousands of vulnerable civilians.