Kurdish security forces in Jalawla. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The process of returning refugees to the Diyala province towns of Jawla and Sadia, which have been long-liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS) group, has begun and will continue, officials told Rudaw on Sunday.
“There is very good coordination between Kurds and us to help bring back families who had fled Jalawla when ISIS took it over last year,” said Brig. Ghalib Atiya, a media officer in the provincial police force.
“The process got recently underway, and will continue until all refugees are returned home.
Currently, more than 240 families have been assisted to return to the town of Sadia,” he said.
He explained that Iraqi parties, the security forces, the provincial council and the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi that assisted government forces liberate the town, were all in agreement that the resettlement should be completed before the beginning of the new school year.
The two towns are part of the so-called “disputed territories” that are claimed both by the central government in Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in the north.
Last month, the Diyala provincial council and the Kurdish coalition agreed to set up a road map to return life to liberated but deserted Jalawla and Sadia.
They have remained unpopulated despite liberation from ISIS in November, in a joint operation by the Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi forces in which several Kurdish soldiers died.