Duhok Governor: no room for IDPs
DUHOK, Kurdistan Region (K24) – An official from Duhok Province stated that there is no space left in the province to accommodate more refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The head of Duhok Provincial Council, Fahim Abdulla, told K24 that they expect more displaced persons from Mosul city in northern Iraq as the liberation operation nears.
On Saturday in Cairo, Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi highlighted the plans for Mosul’s liberation from the Islamic State (IS). “I can say the battle won't be delayed after the first half of this year, and its end, by God's will, shall also be swift,” he said. “We can determine when the battle starts, but its end depends on variables.''
Furthermore, in December 2015, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stated that 2016 will mark Iraq’s “final victory” over IS.
With Duhok seemingly at its capacity, Abdulla discussed different ways IDPs can continue to be accommodated in other provinces.
“We have made some preparations for this reason. We are trying to create three IDP camps in the north of Nineveh Province.” Abdulla said. “Duhok does not have the ability to accommodate more IDPs.”
He mentioned that the IDP camps are more likely to be created in Zumar and Zelqan areas as well as in the west of the Tigris River, north of Nineveh.
Furthermore, Duhok Governor Farhad Atrushi recently told K24 that the province has opened its arms for a large number of refugees and IDPs in the past years and is unable to accommodate more.
“Besides space, Duhok has faced a critical financial crisis just like the other provinces in the Kurdistan Region,” Atrushi said.
Atrushi proposed that UN agencies create and supervise camps for IDPs in three different places in the north of Nineveh. “Accommodating more IDPs in Duhok is out of our capability. We ask the UN to accommodate IDPs in northern Nineveh and financially supervise them,” he concluded.
Duhok province in northern Iraq has a population of almost 1.4 million people. According to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) statistics, there are 760,000 refugees and IDPs in Duhok. 250,000 are refugees from Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), while the rest are IDPs from different parts of Iraq who fled their homes following the emergence of IS in the country.
Reporting by Mewan Dolamari
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Masoud Mohammed contributed from Duhok)