ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Ministry of Displacement and Migration on Monday announced that in the past three days, about 421 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) returned from camps to their original residential areas in the northern province of Nineveh.
Ali Abbas Jahakir, a senior ministry official, explained in a statement that the returnees were from the government-sponsored camps in Nineveh’s eastern and southern parts as well as those of Salahuddin province. He added that the IDPs returned to their homes in towns and villages across Nineveh.
The official detailed that 235 of the returnees were located at the al-Ilm wa al-Karama camps in Salahuddin, 64 were from al-Khazer in eastern Mosul, with the remaining 122 being from the al-Jad’a, al-Madraj, and Haj Ali south of Mosul.
The displacement ministry had coordinated with the transport ministry as well as security forces to allocate the prospective returnees with buses and move them back to their areas safely, Jahakir said.
Early last month, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) Iraq director, Rishana Haniffa, said over 300,000 residents of Iraq’s Mosul are still displaced, with no homes to go back to two years since the liberation of the city from the so-called Islamic State.
The organization stated that the remaining displaced people of Mosul make up about a fifth of Iraq’s entire displaced population of 1.6 million right now—1.2 million of which are in the autonomous Kurdistan Region, according to data from the Kurdistan Region’s Joint Crisis Coordination Center (JCC).
Iraqi forces with the support of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and the US-led coalition liberated Mosul from the terrorist group in July 2017. Two years later, the city remains mostly in ruins.
According to NRC, about 138,000 houses were damaged or destroyed in the city during the conflict. In western Mosul alone, there are still over 53,000 houses flattened and thousands more damaged.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany