Iraq

Iraq Protection Cluster: Salah Al-Din Returnee Profile - January 2018

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SALAH AL-DIN GOVERNORATE - GENERAL CONTEXT

Per the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), approximately 81,077 families returned to Salah al-Din by January 2018. During the reporting period, there was continued instability due to security incidents, including abductions in Yathrib sub-district and destruction of farms and properties in Farhatiyah sub-district and Shirqat district resulting in many casualties, including returnees.

There was significant re-displacement of Hawiga residents to Al-Alam camps in Tikrit district, with around 95 families were re-displaced to Al-Alam camps in January. IDPs from Hawiga began returning to their place of origin from AlAlam camps on 6 November 2107 to villages in Riyadh district, approximately 50 kilometers away from the camps. These families remained in Hawiga for about a month before they began re-displacing due to attacks by armed groups in and around their villages. Attacks increased in early December, with an attack in early December reportedly killing seven individuals who were recent returnees from Salah al-Din. The figures for those who have redisplaced are difficult to track in out-of-camp areas but there are ongoing redisplacements back to Salah al-Din and Kirkuk City of the IDPs from Hawiga due to the unstable security situation in Hawija.

Barred/prevented returns, for persons/families perceived to have affiliations but without due process, continues to be a major problem. 12 families confined in Al-Shahama Camp, Tikrit district were allowed to return to their areas of origin (AoOs) following high-level interventions by protection/ humanitarian actors, while 175 families are still confined in the camp. In a bid to resolve the issue of returning families perceived to have affiliations, two separate tribe-led community reconciliation meetings were held in January in Shirqat, to discuss the possibility of returns of families with alleged (but not proven) extremist links. Both meetings ended without final agreements. If these efforts are successful, they will directly and indirectly impact thousands of IDP families, many of whom face challenging living conditions, including many vulnerable female headed-households.

Efforts are continuing to support reintegration and rehabilitation efforts to facilitate the safe and sustainable return of displaced people. Among other projects, over 70,000 people in Yathrib sub-district will benefit from a new pedestrian bridge that opened in mid-January. The bridge, built by UNHCR and its partners, is an essential crossing point for the Tigris River, connecting the east and west of Yathrib City. Since the old bridge, was destroyed local inhabitants had to make long detours to cross the river. The new bridge makes a huge difference to people going about their daily lives, and aims to benefit cohesion in formerly displaced communities, and feed into longerterm recovery programmers. Other quick impact projects including a vehicular bridge, shelter, electricity and water rehabilitation projects have been completed or are underway.