ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Iraq’s Mosul have returned to camps inside the Kurdistan Region out of fear for their livelihood and safety.
Salim Shaback, a former member of Iraq’s Council of Representatives, said the Shia-dominated Hashd al-Shaabi militias, also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), continue to violate the rights of IDPs returning to Mosul.
There are “daily violation on the returnees’ dignity and human rights forcing them to return to the safety of the IDP camps inside the Kurdistan Region,” Shaback told the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) website.
He added that the Hashd al-Shaabi take “customs fees from the people and prevent them from moving freely in their daily lives.”
Former Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi declared a “final victory” over the Islamic State in December 2017 when Iraqi forces drove its last remnants from the country, three years after the militant group overran about a third of Iraq’s territory.
Following the military victory over the extremist group, hundreds of thousands of IDPs began to return to their homes. However, over the past two years, those same displaced persons have come back to camps in Kurdistan after unsuccessful attempts to return to their areas of origin.
Through its sleeper cells, the Islamic State continues to launch insurgency attacks, ambushes, and kidnappings in the Nineveh governorate and its surrounding areas, compromising the region’s stability.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has often voiced its support for the voluntary return of IDPs with basic services and job opportunities available to them as well as a hopeful future.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany