Iraq closes IDP camp in Kirkuk, after sending hundreds back to Hawija

The Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration announced on Saturday the closure of an Internally Displaced Person (IDPs) camp in Kirkuk province after it helped send hundreds of displaced people to their homes in neighboring Hawija city.
author_image Sangar Ali

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration announced on Saturday the closure of an Internally Displaced Person (IDPs) camp in Kirkuk province after it helped send hundreds of displaced people to their homes in neighboring Hawija city.

Although Iraqi forces with the support of the Kurdish Peshmerga liberated Hawija in October 2017, many residents from the city remained displaced, namely in the Nazrawa camp located in Kirkuk’s southeastern town of Laylan.

The facility was home to about 400 displaced people, which just a few days ago saw the deaths of four children from one family after a fire broke out in their tent overnight.

In a statement, the Ministry said that in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport, they allocated vehicles to return 402 displaced people to their homes in Hawija as well as distribute food and aid to them.

Nazrawa Camp in Kirkuk closed after the return of hundreds of IDPs back to Hawija. (Photo: Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration)
Nazrawa Camp in Kirkuk closed after the return of hundreds of IDPs back to Hawija. (Photo: Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration)

“There were the last families left in the camp of Nazrawa. The camp was closed after their departure,” the statement reads.

The Director-General of the Ministry’s branch office in Kirkuk, Sattar Newrouz, said the rest of the camps in Kirkuk would witness the same experience with most IDPs returning to their liberated hometowns.

Hawija was previously one of the Islamic State’s strongholds, and even after the city’s liberation, it continues to witness insurgency attacks, ambushes, and kidnappings.

Many Iraqi IDPs refuse to return to their areas due to security concerns and lack of basic services there.

In another statement released on Sunday, the Iraqi Ministry announced that through the same mechanism, they helped return 109 IDPs from Falluja and surrounding areas to their hometown of al-Qaim in Anbar located on the Syrian border.

Over the past year, they have carried out insurgency attacks, kidnappings, and ambushes in the country despite Iraq declaring victory against the Islamic State in December 2017.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany