Protection cluster return monitoring of Alisherzai return to central Kurrum, April 2014

Evaluation and Lessons Learned
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1.1 Background Kurram Agency is in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), consisting of Upper Kurram, Lower Kurram and Central Kurram. It borders Nangarhar, Khost and Paktiya proveniences Afghanistan to the North and West, Orakzai and Khyber Agencies on the East, Hangu to the Southeast and North Waziristan Agency to the South (see map 1)

It is believed that most of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) fighters have fled to Kurram in the wake of military operation in the adjacent Khyber, Orakzai and South Waziristan agencies in 2011.
Kurram is home to a significant number of Shia minorities, concentrated mainly in the Upper and partly in Central Kurram, with a history of intermittent violent conflict along sectarian lines. It has also frequently been a crossing point for Taliban fighters moving between Pakistan and Afghanistan, prompting sustained military operations.

These activities often trigger displacement of civilian populations within Kurram agency and outward into the neighboring districts. For example, many families were displaced from Upper and Lower to Central Kurram due to sectarian conflict. Sizeable population from Central Kurram, largely from Alisherzai tribe, was also displaced to Lower Kurram and into the adjacent districts of Hangu, Kohat and Peshawar due to military operation in 2011.

According to UNHCR database, a total of 4549 IDP families (20,114 individuals) from Alisherzai tribe were registered and are being assisted in New Durani camp and in Peshawar, Kohat, Hangu and DI Khan districts. Of this total, 1366 families live in New Durrani camp and 3,183 in off-camp settlements.
In January 2014, 50 tehsils were de-notified by the Government of Pakistan and declared safe for IDP return. In the Return Task Force (RTF) meeting held on 16.1.2014, the return of Alisherzai was agreed upon. The protection cluster, fulfilling its mandate as per the return SOPs, conducted a Return Intention Survey (RIS) to assess the voluntary nature of the intention to return and their overall preparedness. Subsequently, the cluster has also continuously undertaken return monitoring exercises at embarkation point in New Durrani camp. This report covers the last of the monitoring surveys.

1.2 Objectives of the monitoring surveys The objective of the survey is to:

  1. Determine the voluntary nature of the return
  2. Assess access to information about the return operation and situation in area of return
  3. Assess access to assistance during return process
  4. Draw conclusion and recommendation on the basis of the data collected.