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Hundreds of displaced Iraqi families continue to return to Diyala

By Rudaw 7/8/2017
IDPs return to Sadiyah in Diyala governorate in Iraq.

SADIYAH, Iraq — After being away from their hometown for three years, a convoy of internally displaced persons (IDPs) totaling 200 families has returned to Sadiyah, adding to the more than 200,000 people who have already returned to Iraq’s Diyala governorate.

“It’s been nearly three and a half years we have been refugees. We lost our houses and land,” a Sadiyah resident told Rudaw upon their return on Sunday
The returnees consisted of Kurdish, Arabic and Turkmen families. The locals in Sadiyah said their main concerns are rebuilding homes, restoring services, receiving compensation, and security. The town is located on the eastern bank of Lake Hamrin on the road to Khanaqin.

Local provincial officials said that people are returning in big numbers and that they will try to facilitate further returns. Sunday’s return is the 14th such convey of IDPs recently.

“Today another round returned to Sadiyah. There are only a few left to return, who will be returning in the coming days,” Musana Altamimi, the governor of Diyala, said in a news conference. 

Officials also stressed that they will be providing services and will continue to provide humanitarian assistance, especially in destroyed neighborhoods and areas.

“In the next six months, we will be executing big service projects in this area in order to make more facilitations to the people of this area,” Altamimi added.

According to the International Organization for Migration, 2,071,980 Iraqis displaced since 2014 have returned through July.

At least 204,684 IDPs from Diyala in that time span have since returned — most, 160,434, were locally displaced within the governorate; however, 42,396 were sheltered in Kirkuk and Sulaimani.

Sadiyah is a diverse town that was overrun by ISIS in the summer of 2014, a veteran Kurdish Peshmerga commander, Mahmoud Sangawi, told Rudaw in an interview at the time.

It was retaken by Iraqi security forces in September of 2015.


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