https://diyaruna.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_di/newsbriefs/2018/02/02/newsbrief-03

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2.5 million IDPs return to liberated territories in Iraq

The Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement announced on Thursday (February 1st) that some 2.5 million internally displaced people (IDPs) have returned to their homes in the areas liberated from the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS).

Minister Jassim Mohammed al-Jaf said that his ministry, in co-operation with the Joint Operations Command (JOC), which is responsible for military operations across Iraq, "managed to transfer 2.5 million IDPs to their homes in the liberated towns and villages".

He confirmed that "the return operations are continuing at a very high pace, especially in Anbar and Ninawa provinces", adding that the return of IDPs is also ongoing in many areas of Kirkuk province.

On Friday, Kirkuk's department of migration and displacement said that more than 50% of displaced Kirkuk residents have returned to the province.

The liberation operations and the ensuing operations to remove ISIS remnants of war have allowed for the return of more than half of Kirkuk's population, department director Ammar Sabah told Diyaruna.

"We are also rehabilitating some areas, like al-Hawijah, al-Riyadh, al-Khanajer, al-Bashir, al-Debs and others by restoring services, including water and electricity, and rehabilitating the health and education sectors," he said.

"This has led to the gradual return of displaced families to those areas," he said, noting that as soon as the remaining IDPs return, the department will close the displacement camps in the province.

"In-kind assistance is being given to returning families to help them resettle," he added, noting that "about 400 families have returned home in al-Hawijah and surrounding areas over the past two days."

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