ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement on Sunday announced 1,200 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) had returned to their areas in Diyala Province.
The IDPs were transferred from camps in the city of Khanaqin to their hometowns in the Saadiya district, according to a statement released by Sattar Newrouz, the Director-General for IDPs affairs in the Ministry.
“There are joint efforts to accelerate the return of all displaced people who wish to return to their areas,” Newrouz added.
Their return comes despite increased ISIS attacks around Khanaqin, which has led dozens of villages to be evacuated.
Last week, the Ministry also announced the closure of an IDP camp in Kirkuk Province after it helped send about 400 displaced people back to their homes in the neighboring city of Hawija.
A week prior to that, the Ministry also helped 109 IDPs from Falluja and surrounding areas to return home to al-Qaim in Anbar, located on the Syrian border.
Following the emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq in 2014, over six million Iraqis were displaced in the country.
After the military defeat of the jihadist group, the number of IDPs has since dropped to below two million, 1.2 million of which are in the autonomous Kurdistan Region.
Many Iraqi IDPs refuse to return to their areas due to security concerns and lack of basic services there.
Over the past year, they have carried out insurgency attacks, kidnappings, and ambushes in the country despite Iraq declaring victory against the jihadist group in December 2017.
Editing by Nadia Riva