NINEWA GOVERNORATE - GENERAL CONTEXT
Per the Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD) and the DTM, there were quite significant returns during September. Mosul district followed by Telafar and then Hamdaniya have the highest number of returnees while Sinjar and Telkaif have the lowest number of returnees. Hatra district recorded its first returnees in September. In addition to monitoring IDP returns, UNHCR and protection partners continue to monitor movements and intervene on protection issues of Iraqi returnees from Syria and Turkey.
However, despite these significant return movements, many IDPs continued to face barriers in returning to areas of origin. A significant proportion of IDPs from western parts of Ninewa, including west Mosul, Telafar, Ba’aj and Hatra remained in displacement due to widespread destruction of their homes, the lack of services, food and livelihood opportunities and also due to explosive hazards contamination. Nonetheless, returns to Sinjar and Hamdaniya continued to increase as some religious and ethnic minorities are gradually returning to the Ninewa plains. Authorities are yet to clear returns to Telafar City, Ayadhiya, Ba’aj district, Old City Mosul and other neighborhoods near the Old City, as some of these areas continued to experience intermittent clashes. Many Arab families from disputed territories continue to wait for the green light after officials from Zummar, Wana and Rabea had announced that families will be allowed to return but very few returns have been approved.
The reporting period also witnessed the first returns to Shikhan district.
The MoMD reported that by the end of September, 312,289 individuals returned to Ninewa from the existing displacement camps. This reflects a substantial increase of 40,074 individuals compared to August. Of this, 14,963 were IDPs who left camps located in the east and north east of Mosul (Hasansham, Khazer, Chamakor, Debaga and Nargizlia). According to DTM, 76,625 families returned to retaken areas in Ninewa indicating that the number of returnee families more than doubled compared to the previous month. In September, 566 Iraqi asylum seekers and refugees returned to Ninewa from Turkey while another 230 individuals returned from Syria.