80,000 of Iraq’s displaced Sunnis stopped from returning home

Image of internally displaced Iraqi civilians after having fled from Daesh controlled areas [Anadolu]

Some 80,000 people from north of the province of Babil have not been allowed to return home two years after the area was recaptured from Daesh, the National Forces Union, the largest Sunni bloc in the Iraqi parliament, said yesterday.

In a statement, the bloc said: “There is a real intention to conduct demographic change in the area.”

It called on Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to allow the residents of the Jurf Al Jabal area to return to their homes.

Read: Iraq, US bomb airport as Mosul advance continues

According to the bloc, officials in the province have issued a series of statements which place “obstacles to prevent the displaced people from returning to their areas”.

The head of the security committee in the Babil province, Falah Al-Rahdi, denied local authorities had any intention to conduct demographic change in the region.

He told the Anadolu Agency that the areas in question lack basic services including electricity and water.

“The Babil Provincial Council has prepared a list of damages caused by Daesh in the area, noting that the area needs $400 million to restore the services.”

(Source / 23.02.2017)

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