ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq's Ministry of Displacement and Migration (MoDM) on Wednesday announced the return of 154 Iraqi refugees from Turkey.
This came within the framework of what the ministry has termed a program of “voluntary” return for Iraqi refugees back to the areas they left due to instability.
“Today, the ministry facilitated the return of a new batch off Iraqis in... [Turkey] as part of our free voluntary return program,” Taleb Asghar Dosa, director general of the ministry’s immigration department, said.
The latest group of returnees entered the Kurdistan Region through the border crossing of Ibrahim Khalil in the Zakho district of Dohuk province, from where they went to their places of origin.
Doda also said the immigrants were settled in the Turkish provinces of Ankara, Samsun, Kutahya, Eskişehir, Yozkat, and Grom.
The MoDM’s voluntary return program has been ongoing for over a year, encouraging Iraqi citizens to return to their liberated areas the so-called Islamic State had previously occupied.
Following the emergence of the terror group and its expansion in 2014, six million Iraqis were internally displaced, with thousands fleeing abroad to neighboring and western countries.
Since the beginning of 2019, the Federal Government of Iraq has helped Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Iraqi refugees settle into their liberated homes. Many, however, continue to resist a return to their towns due to security concerns and a lack of essential services.
Over the past year, the Islamic State has carried out insurgency attacks, kidnappings, and ambushes in the country despite Iraq declaring victory against the terror group in December 2017.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany