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Iraq is not serious about allowing displaced citizens to return, says UN

Displaced Iraqis from Hawija [File photo]
Displaced Iraqis from Hawija [File photo]

The Iraqi government has not fulfilled its promises of providing aid to displaced persons returning voluntarily, compensating them and rehabilitating their homes, a spokesman for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said yesterday. No attention has been paid to the humanitarian appeals by the displaced persons, it is alleged.

“International and local humanitarian organisations play a significant role in encouraging the Internally Displaced People [IDPs] to stay in camps because they cut aid as soon as they go home,” said the UN statement. An official called on such organisations to continue with their humanitarian programmes for returning IDPs as they are in “dire need” and require rehabilitation to encourage voluntary return.

OHCHR called on the Iraqi government recently to “fulfil its promises” by speeding up the rehabilitation of the liberated areas, compensating the affected people and handing voluntary returnees allocated aid, as well as providing them with essential goods and services.

Some 5.8 million Iraqis were displaced after Daesh took control of one third of the country, including the northern capital Mosul, in 2014. The Iraqi government declared its victory over the terrorist group in late 2017.

However, many IDPs are still unable to return to their places of residence because their homes were destroyed during the war against Daesh, the lack of basic infrastructure and the unstable security situation. Estimates put the number of IDPs awaiting return at 2.8 million.

READ: Internally displaced Iraq will return to their areas in 2019

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