Thursday, June 08, 2006

Overlooked in Iraq - Internal displacement

While US forces managed to kill al-Qaedas's main man in Iraq finally, the internal affairs of Iraq continue to deteriorate. A quote pulled at random:

"There is total chaos and I don't think Zarqawi's death will change anything. It is more complicated than that," said Saadallah al-Fathi, a former senior Iraqi oil official.

"Tomorrow there will be another person (to take his place), or another group trying to push a certain agenda," he added. - Reuters AlertNet

But one of the biggest problems facing a return to normalcy in that strife-torn country is the problem of internal displacement. As civil war continues to mount, civilians are moving as fast and as far away from the bombings and shooting as they can. This is giving the humanitarion NGOs in Iraq fits, and rightly so.

The Norwegian Refugee Council reports:

An estimated 81,000 people were forced to flee their homes in a matter of two months by sectarian violence sparked by an attack on the Al-Ashkari shrine in Samarra in February. These newly-displaced people are in addition to more than one million internally displaced people (IDPs) in Iraq, the majority forced out by conflict and human rights violations under the former regime.

Sectarian displacements received much attention in the mainstream world media in April 2006, yet equally large-scale population displacements caused by multiple military operations across the country have been largely unreported. Several hundred thousand people were displaced by military operations during 2005.

The security situation is tense and new displacements continued to be reported in early May. The potential for further displacement is high, particularly in Baghdad, and other areas of the country with mixed communities. The provinces that are the most affected by new in-flows of displaced people include Baghdad, Anbar, Diyala, Najaf and Karbala.a, Najaf and Karbala.

See here and here.

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