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Massive Return of Iraqis to Iraq


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The UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) reports:

Based on reports from countries of asylum (departure) and origin (arrival), it is estimated that some 1.5 million refugees repatriated voluntarily to their country of origin during 2004. In all, there were a total of 27 voluntary repatriation movements involving more than 1,000 refugees.

The main countries of origin to which refugees returned during 2004 included Afghanistan (940,000), Iraq (194,000)...

Link

So, in 2004, the latest year with available data, about 75% of all voluntary repatriations recorded by the UNHCR in the world occurred by Iraqis and Afghanis returning home.

The UNHCR reports more recently on the situation of Iraqi former refugees and people displaced within Iraq:

Iraqi Returnees (Former Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons)

While it is estimated that over 400,000 IDPs have either returned spontaneously or settled in their places of choice, the total number of IDPs remains at 1.2 million by mid June 2005, not least because many returnees from abroad ended up in internal displacement or were fresh displaced resulting from periodic fighting, particularly in places such as Fallujah, Najaf, Ramadi, Mosul, Al-Qaim and now Tal Afar. Since 2003, some 250,000 refugees have returned to Iraq, majority of whom (230,000) have returned spontaneously and some 20,000 returned with UNHCR’s assistance. Although estimate number of returns in 2005 is not available at this stage, over 3,000 have returned with UNHCR assistance in 2005.

Link

I have not seen this reported anywhere and I only discovered it by reading a letter to Mark Steyn's web site.

Indeed, the UNHCR seems more concerned about Palestinian refugees inside Iraq. (Link.)

When it comes right down to it, I'm willing to trust the behaviour of ordinary people on the ground than the opinion of an armchair political analyst thousands of kilometers away. If ordinary Iraqis and Afghanis are voting with their feet, then that tells me more than anything else.

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I have not seen this reported anywhere and I only discovered it by reading a letter to Mark Steyn's web site.

And this kinda proves my point(from the media thread) that whether the issue is left or right we don't get to see the whole picture from the "news channels". I'd rather have more info on this issue before giving my opinion though.

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  • 3 months later...

Baghdad starts to collapse as its people flee a life of death

In one of the few comprehensive surveys of how many Iraqis have fled their country since the US invasion, the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants said last month that there were 644,500 refugees in Syria and Jordan in 2005 — about 2.5 per cent of Iraq’s population. In total, 889,000 Iraqis had moved abroad, creating “the biggest new flow of refugees in the world”, according to Lavinia Limon, the committee’s president.
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That quote refers to existing "refugees" in Syria or Jordan. There is no mention of whether there has been an increase or decrease in numbers. Anyone who knows anything about the Middle East knows that there are many people from one country living in another. This is particularly true among Iraqis, Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese.

The important question is whether the numbers are changing on one side of the border or the other.

I have no doubt that people have moved within Baghdad itself. There is a form of religious apartheid occurring.

In northern and southern Iraq, the story is different.

----

I also found it disingenuous of the journalist to refer to anecdotal evidence of people's situations in Baghdad and then combine that at the end with a quote about Iraqi refugees in Syria and Jordan.

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I am not surprised by the numbers. Large amount of Iraqis moved back into the north and the south. Likewise, lots of Afghanis moved back to Afgahnistan.

Still, there are some areas where refugees have not come back in full strength. The report doesn't give a full outlook on where refugees have not been able to go back to in full numbers.

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  • 8 months later...
Mea culpa?

Indeed..when I saw the headline of the thread, I thought that it would have to have an incredible spin to be "true"....like 500,000 left but 200,000 returned.....

Now we know that refugees are fleeing Iraq in record #s, but I am curious if the relative calm in eastern afghanistan has prompted many to return there or in the north west?

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Richard Waddington

GENEVA (Reuters) - A United Nations' conference agreed to step up help on Wednesday for 4 million Iraqi refugees, most of whom have fled their homes to escape violence over the past four years.

Up to half of the refugees are being sheltered by neighbors Syria and Jordan, which say they are struggling to shoulder the burden, while nearly 2 million are displaced across Iraq.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL181678..._bombs_kill_170

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Here's how Afghans are sent home.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/stor...?hub=TopStories

Daman District, Kandahar Province -- An open desert plain just off a road that Afghans now refer to as the "Bloody Highway," has become a dumping ground for displaced people, forced out of Pakistan by a mandatory repatriation order.

The deadline was April 15 and in the week that followed, 1,200 families have now crowded into a refugee camp in Daman District, just a 20-minute drive from Camp Nathan Smith (PRT), where Canadian Reconstruction Teams are deployed.

Refugees here, armed with ratty old rugs and a few thin blankets, have been forced home to an unwelcoming country still dominated by warlords, still crawling with foreign armies.

Inside the camp, the first thing that hits like a brick wall, is the stench of human waste and sickness, so strong that even those, who now call it home, cover their noses to protect against the pungent smell.

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Inside the camp, the first thing that hits like a brick wall, is the stench of human waste and sickness, so strong that even those, who now call it home, cover their noses to protect against the pungent smell.

Sounds like any 3rd world bazaar.

Glasgow pisser...

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the real story is, the occupation of Iraq has produced a refugee problem of enormous proportions -- isn't getting better, it's getting worse!

UN calls on the West to help four million displaced Iraqis

By Peter Popham in Rome

Published: 18 April 2007

The Iraq war was supposed to spread democracy throughout the Middle East, but to date its most palpable result has been to spread Iraqis throughout the world.

UNHCR, the United Nations' refugee agency, believes that up to two million have sought refuge outside the country since the war started, and 1.9 million have been forced to move within Iraq in fear of their lives.

The agency's chief, Antonio Gutteres, appealed for help yesterday at the first conference on the refugee crisis, saying: "It is time that the international community responded with genuine solidarity and aid to displaced Iraqis and to the states housing them."

The flood of refugees has put a huge and growing burden on neighbouring nations, especially Syria and Jordan, which in consequence are making it more and more difficult for Iraqis to enter their countries. Others in the Middle East are battening down the hatches: Kuwait now never admits Iraqis; Saudi Arabia is building a fortified barrier at a cost of $7bn (£3.7bn) to stop people crossing the border; and Egypt is accepting far fewer Iraqis than it used to.

The conference in Geneva is being attended by Iraq, its neighbours and dozens of other concerned countries. Human Rights Watch (HRW) has given delegates examples of the brutal reception awaiting would-be refugees from Iraq within the Middle East.

A Christian man in Baghdad received a death threat and his son was injured by a car bomb, prompting the man to flee to Jordan in June 2006 with his wife and four children. When his wife's father suffered a heart attack, the wife returned with their youngest son to visit him but when she tried to rejoin her family in Jordan, she and her child were refused entry. She tried again, this time by air, but was turned back.

A 40-year-old Sunni woman, whose husband was murdered in front of her, and who was then gang-raped by eight men, flew from Baghdad to Amman, the Jordanian capital, in July 2006. The woman was only allowed to enter Jordan because she persuaded immigration that she was on her way to Morocco.

Even the option of moving to safe regions within Iraq is becoming much harder. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported that "about half" of Iraq's central and southern provincesare turning away displaced people unless they can prove they originated in the region.

And increasingly the fate of would-be refugees comes down to religious and/or ethnic affiliation. At the Jordanian border it has become common for officials to ask if the new arrival is Sunni or Shia - and to turn them back if they are the latter. Palestinians have increasing difficulties both in moving around inside Iraq and leaving the country.

Iraqi Christians, members of the oldest Christian communities in the world, are particularly vulnerable because of their religion and because they have no militia to protect them. Christian organisations in the West have done little to help them, according to an Italian film-maker who has documented their plight.

But that failure to act is mirrored in the global community. Jordan and Syria have received about two million Iraqis, Mr Guterres told the conference, "without any meaningful support from outside".

HRW said the countries behind the war had so far failed to respond meaningfully to the crisis. The US is believed to have accepted 420 Iraqi refugees to date, although it promises to take 7,000; Britain has not agreed to accept any.

The US and Britain "undertook a war that has caused thousands of deaths, widespread fear and suffering, and forced displacement," Bill Frelick, HRW's refugee policy director, said. "This precipitated a sectarian conflict that has caused violence, persecution and displacement on a massive scale." The US and UK, he said, "bear a particular responsibility".

Mr Gutteres said: "Almost four million Iraqis are watching us today. Their needs are as obvious as is the moral imperative to help."

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The link above is from the UK Independent.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported that "about half" of Iraq's central and southern provinces are turning away displaced people unless they can prove they originated in the region.

And increasingly the fate of would-be refugees comes down to religious and/or ethnic affiliation. At the Jordanian border it has become common for officials to ask if the new arrival is Sunni or Shia - and to turn them back if they are the latter. Palestinians have increasing difficulties both in moving around inside Iraq and leaving the country.

The Iraqi war is now a sectarian civil war. Like in Lebanon, this could go on for years.

Parts of Iraq will be fine, the north and the south. But Baghdad is terrible.

Like the English of Quebec, the Protestants of Ireland, the Whites of Rhodesia, or the Maronites of Lebanon, the Sunnites of Iraq will learn that they are not a majority.

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Blah blah blah civil war. We've been hearing it for years. It's not a civil war. It's a donnybrook largely confined to one city and its environs, between gangs of thugs.

It's a donnybrook where there U.S. and it one ally have been loosing four soldiers a day in.

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Blah blah blah civil war. We've been hearing it for years. It's not a civil war. It's a donnybrook largely confined to one city and its environs, between gangs of thugs.

Well, how do you define environs? close? far? anywhere there is violence?

Lets look at April's Carnage count

let's say you mean Baghdad as the one city....is Ramadi (pop 400,000 and falling) part of Baghdad's environs?

RAMADI - A suicide truck bomb killed 25 people and wounded 44 in the Albufarraj area near the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, 110 km (70 miles) west of Baghdad, police said

RAMADI - Three suicide car bombers killed 20 people and wounded 35 others in the Iraqi insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, 110 km (70 miles) west of Baghdad, police said. A source at a local hospital said it received 29 bodies after the blast.

RAMADI - Another 25 decomposed bodies were found in a school in Ramadi, 110 km (70 miles) west of Baghdad, police said. The latest discovery came a day after 17 bodies were found in a deserted school in Ramadi.

RAMADI - Seventeen decomposed bodies were found in a deserted school in Ramadi 110 km (68 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

Ramadi - Police...now say a suicide bomber was driving a truck loaded with explosives and toxic chlorine gas when he crashed into a police checkpoint...At least 27 people, two of them policemen, died

Ramadi - The bodies of five men were found east of the city of Ramadi, 110 km (70 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

How about Mosul? Pop 1.700,000

MOSUL - The bodies of five people were found shot in different districts of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

MOSUL - Gunmen killed traffic police Colonel Abdul Muhsin Hassan in the northern city of Mosul, police said.

MOSUL - Gunmen killed 23 textile factory workers from the minority Yazidi sect after forcing them out of a minibus in the northern city of Mosul, police and hospital sources said

MOSUL - Eight bodies were discovered in Mosul, 390 km (240 km) north of Baghdad, a hospital source said.

MOSUL - One army officer and a civilian were killed in a roadside bomb attack in Mosul's east, police said. Another three police were wounded.

MOSUL - Gunmen killed police Brigadier Abdul Kareem al-Bijari with two of his guards in Mosul, 390 km north of Baghdad, police said.

MOSUL - Nine bodies were found in different parts of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, morgue sources said.

MOSUL (near) - A suicide bomber driving a tanker targeting a police patrol east of Mosul killed one civilian and wounded four Iraqi soldiers, police said.

MOSUL - Gunmen killed 13 soldiers and wounded four in an attack on an Iraqi army checkpoint near Mosul, police said.

MOSUL - Gunmen killed Mohammed Abdullah al-Zubaidi, a senior member of the former Baath party in western Mosul, about 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, a medical source at the Mosul morgue said.

MOSUL - Gunmen killed Talal al-Jalili, the Dean of the Political Science College, in a drive-by shooting in Mosul, police said.

MOSUL - The bodies of six people, including a policeman, who had been shot were found in different districts of Mosul, police said.

MOSUL - Four people, including two Iraqi soldiers, were killed and 16 wounded when two oil trucks driven by suicide bombers exploded outside a military base in the northern city of Mosul, police said.

...and so on......

1268 deaths this month alone by Iraq on iraq violence

http://icasualties.org/oif/IraqiDeaths.aspx

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I don't recall any civil wars ever on the planet conducted soley by IEDs, carbombs and kidnappings. More like postwar gang battles.

So? I don't recall any 19th century wars being conducted with aircraft.....nonetheless, the Irish Rebellion was conducted pretty much along those lines.....and I don't recall any gang battles where the two year death toll is in excess of 32,000

Deaths Since April 28, 2005

(Shiite-led government announced):

Police/Mil: 4719

Civilians: 27766

Total: 32485

Deaths Since February 22, 2006

(Al Askari Mosque bombing):

Police/Mil: 2421

Civilians: 21658

Total: 24079

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I don't recall any civil wars ever on the planet conducted soley by IEDs, carbombs and kidnappings. More like postwar gang battles.

So? I don't recall any 19th century wars being conducted with aircraft.....nonetheless, the Irish Rebellion was conducted pretty much along those lines.....and I don't recall any gang battles where the two year death toll is in excess of 32,000

Deaths Since April 28, 2005

(Shiite-led government announced):

Police/Mil: 4719

Civilians: 27766

Total: 32485

Deaths Since February 22, 2006

(Al Askari Mosque bombing):

Police/Mil: 2421

Civilians: 21658

Total: 24079

So civil wars are defined by bodycount? The Black Plague and WW I and II must have been big whopper civil wars, eh?.

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So civil wars are defined by bodycount? The Black Plague and WW I and II must have been big whopper civil wars, eh?.

No but I bet one of the differences between a gang war and a civil war may be the body count.

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