Families displaced in Iraq returning home – Int’l Organisation for migration


Geneva : The Internationall Organisation for Migration (IOM) has said that Iraqi families displaced by sectarian violence and military operations are returning in numbers to certain areas of the capital where security has improved over the past months.

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IOM spokesperson Jean Phillipe Chauzy told reporters Tuesday that this is particularly the case in Bagdad’s eastern Sadr City, where according to the Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration (MoDM) report, more than 4,000 families (an estimated 24,000 individuals) have returned to their former homes, despite sporadic clashes between Iraqi forces and insurgents.

The report notes that most health facilities and schools in Sadr City have reopened, as well as some shops in the Jamil wholesale market, although recent fire damage, lack of electricity and sanitation still prevents the majority of market shops from resuming their activities.

In May, returns also gathered momentum in Baghdad’s Rasheed sub-district, with up to 1,000 displaced Shia and Sunni families returning to the Awareej area to date.

Reasons cited by families for taking the decision to return include improved security and reconciliation among various groups, particularly between tribal leaders, the Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) and local authorities.

More than 2.7 million Iraqis remain internally displaced, some 1.5 million of them since February 2006 when the bombing of the Al-Askari shrine in Samarra triggered a new displacement crisis in the country.