Official: Nearly half of IDPs return to Bashiqa, face scarcity of services

Baghdad has not yet supported the efforts to rebuild Bashiqa.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Nearly half of the displaced people from the town of Bashiqa have returned to their areas of origin as people and local administration criticize the Iraqi government for the lack of services.

The administrations and locals at the town of Bashiqa, southwest of Kurdistan region and northeastern Mosul, complain about the unavailability of basic services in the town and surrounding villages despite the return of more than 40 percent of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their homes.

Didar Zanoun, Mayor of Bashiqa, told Kurdistan24 that so far 300 families have returned to the town, more families have returned to the surrounding villages and many more families are on their way.

Zanoun assured the people that the area is safe, well-protected by the Peshmerga forces, and is very stable, but he complained about the lack of support from the Iraqi government and the Nineveh administration.

Moreover, the head of Bashiq Sub-district Council told Kurdistan24 that since the liberation of Bashiqa, the local administration with the support of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), has been working on restoring water, electricity, health and education services as well as clearing mines and explosives in the region.

He added that Baghdad has not yet supported the efforts to rebuild Bashiqa and its 47 villages and to provide basic services to the displaced families returning to their homes.

A Kurdistan24 reporter spoke to the locals from Bashiqa who complained about the lack of support in terms of humanitarian assistance. A citizen said the neglect might result in reverse displacement due to the scarcity of services.

On November 7, 2016, the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces gained full control of the majority of the Ezidi-Christian populated Bashiqa in northeastern Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) extremists.

Christians and Ezidis, who make up the majority of the population in the town and its surrounding areas, used to live alongside with Muslim Kurds and Arabs in the area before the insurgents occupied their areas in June 2014.


Editing by Ava Homa