Iraq: Four million displaced people repatriated since Islamic State defeat

A group of displaced families

Baghdad ( – At least four million displaced persons have been repatriated in Iraq since the liberation of Iraqi territories from Islamic State militants in 2017, the Ministry of Displacement and Migration said on Saturday.

“Out of 4.4 million displaced persons, four million have safely returned to their homes across Iraq,” Al Ekhbariya TV channel quoted the ministry as saying in a statement.

The ministry added that 95,000 families, made up of 465,000 displaced people, are still residing at refugee camps across the nation.

According to the statement, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi is personally following up the file of the families of Islamic State militants in Iraq and the neighboring countries, and has not issued any directives on that score so far.

The United Nations says nearly five million people have been displaced since Islamic State militants took over large areas of Iraq in 2014 to proclaim a self-styled “Islamic Caliphate”.

Local and international rights agencies have repeatedly highlighted poor living conditions both at refugee camps and at Islamic State-held areas. IS militants had regularly executed civilians attempting to flee their havens. Officials have also occasionally pointed out that refugees were reluctant to return home due to the severe damage to infrastructure.

In December 2017, former Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi declared final victory over the terrorist Islamic State group three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq’s territory.

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