Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Displaced Iraqis stay away as violence persists
Mon May 11, 2009 8:44pm EDT
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Aseel Kami
SULAIMANIYA, Iraq (Reuters) - In summer, the heat is unbearable. In winter, the torrential rains turn the cramped, leaking tent where Khalid Jamhuri lives with his family into a freezing morass of mud.
Still, Jamhuri is unwilling to leave this refugee camp in the semi-autonomous, northern Kurdistan region and return to the Sunni Arab area of Baghdad where Shi'ite militiamen killed his parents, brother and cousin in 2006.
"Some days I make enough to bring home food to eat. Some days I don't," said the slender 19-year-old, who now looks for construction work to support his wife, brother and new baby.
Jamhuri is one of the 3.8 million Iraqis who, prompted by six years of sectarian killing, packed up their belongings and fled to safety. About 1.8 million of them fled to different parts of Iraq and the rest left the country, mostly to Syria and Jordan.
Resettling displaced Iraqis promises to be a major challenge toward achieving reconciliation and averting renewed violence.
It is also key to getting a sluggish economy going and attracting foreign investment that has proven so elusive for Iraq, which has vast oil resources but little real industry outside that underproducing sector.
"This (resettling refugees) will encourage foreign investors," said Iraqi analyst Hazim al-Nuami, adding that investors see a troubling signal in the fact that most refugees have not returned home.
Very few have returned, a sign of widespread wariness in a country still rocked by violence and where the threat of renewed sectarian war lurks just under the surface.
Only 195,000 internally displaced Iraqis came back to their homes by the end of 2008, the United Nations said, but officials hope that figure could reach 400,000 by the end of this year if the security situation improves in Iraq.
That's far from guaranteed. A relative lull in violence ended with a rash of bloody suicide bombings across Iraq in recent weeks, bringing the monthly civilian death toll to 290, the highest since last November.
Many fear security will deteriorate when U.S. combat troops pull out of Iraqi cities in June, ahead of a full U.S. withdrawal by 2012, and before national polls due late this year.
The recent attacks, which mainly targeted Shi'ites, have made some refugees reconsider the decision to return home.
"We don't want to be hasty. We'll see what the coming months bring," said Afyaa Shaker, who fled to Egypt in 2006.
Jabbar Mohammed Ali, a displacement and migration official in Sulaimaniya, said only 3 or 4 percent of the 8,500 displaced families registered with his office have returned home. Continued...
View article on single page
Reuters Green Business
Reuters introduces a new section dedicated to the emerging green technology sector, featuring five people to watch in the business of green and our global green portfolio. Full Coverage
More International News
Pakistan army battles Taliban; bomber kills 10
Pope to visit Jerusalem holy sites, say mass
Hundreds killed in Sri Lanka "bloodbath"
New flu not quite a pandemic yet: WHO
Incense burns as China mourns quake dead
More International News...
Featured Broker sponsored link
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Toilet snake attack: urban legend comes true?
Obama more popular than U.S. among Arabs: survey
GM exit from the Dow looking more likely
GM says open to moving HQ from Detroit
BofA selling $1.9 bln worth of CCB shrs-source
FACTBOX-Biggest changes in NYSE short interest
KFC cancels free chicken deal after Oprah promo
Pentagon replacing top Afghanistan commander | Video
Muslim cleric slams Israel to pope, raising anger
Could Android explode?
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
UN urges Israel on settlements
Green living with rooftop turbine
Glow in the dark puppies debut
Change of command in Afghanistan
Suspected Nazi guard deported
Chocolate-powered racing car
Obama pushes for health overhaul
"Super-cod" flourish in crisis
Bomber strikes in Pakistan conflict
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
The Great Debate
Iran sanctions and wishful thinking
The idea that sanctions will break the Iranian economy so badly that popular discontent will sweep away the leadership without a shot being fired is wishful thinking at its finest. Commentary
Follow Bernd Debusmann on Twitter
The global destination for corporate leaders, deal-makers and innovators
Knowledge to Act
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.