SALAH AL-DIN GOVERNORATE - GENERAL CONTEXT
Per the DTM, approximately 65,992 families (395,952 individuals) returned to Salah al-Din in September, an increase of 391 families (2,346 individuals) from the previous month. Increased forms of collective punishment (i.e: forced evictions, kidnappings, reprisals) against vulnerable families in need of specialised protection continued to be reported in September. Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD) reported a slight increase in number of returnee families registered with their branch office in Salah alDin during the month, with about 130 families registered in September bringing the total number of registered families to 16,330.
The reporting period also had continued instability due to security incidents, including abductions, killings and destruction of farms and properties resulting in many casualties including returnees. Infiltration and continuing attacks in retaken areas by extremist elements continues to jeopardise civilians’ safety, hamper returns, delay rehabilitation projects and humanitarian access. Border regions that link Diyala, Salah al-Din and Kirkuk, reportedly had significant presence of extremist elements, which contributed to the security instability. Separately, a large operation was launched in mid-September in northern parts of Dujail district and various areas in Balad district in a bid to secure these areas after recurring security breaches in these areas. Mutaibija area has also suffered recurring attacks despite deployment of security forces to secure the area. Following continuing attacks by extremist groups, strict security measures and curfew were imposed in various areas in Salah al-Din. Due to the deteriorating security situation, several returnee families have been forced into secondary displacement; more returnee families are likely to go back to displacement if the current trend continues.