Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Iraqi IDPs forced to evacuate former military compound in Babil

In Iraq’s Babil Province, some 300 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are being given one week to evacuate a former military base, Integrated Regional Information Networks reported

A group of 45 representatives of the IDPs have appealed to the Iraqi Parliament to reverse the decision. Abdul-Khaleq Zankana, head of parliament’s displacement committee, has been in discussion with the Iraqi Defense Ministry, US-led forces, and the Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS) in hopes of postponing the decision.

“Nothing yet has been achieved to solve this problem but we are against displacing these families again and increasing their daily suffering,” Zankana said.

The families affected by the displacement are among 12,000 displaced families residing near the provincial capital, Hilla.

After the 2003 invasion, the Babil military compound, al-Hashemite, was looted and left abandoned. In 2005, IDPs began using it as a shelter.

A provincial committee has been formed to seek relocation alternatives, according to Qais al-Zubaidi, the provincial director of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society in Babil. He said that the committee will most likely “get a piece of land in the suburbs [of Hilla] from the city’s municipality to erect more than 100 tents for them and supply them with food and non-food items.”

Meeting the needs of IDPs has been a huge challenge for the Iraqi government, as over 2 million people have been forced to flee their homes.

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