Tensions in Qayyarah threaten social cohesion 

June 22, 2017 at 2:14 pm

A man stands at a checkpoint outside Qayyarah as the oil wells burn in the background (photograph: Fazel Hawramy, October 2016)

The victims of the Islamic State rule in Qayyarah poured into streets today for the third time recently and demanded the expulsion of the relatives and families of Isis militants, creating fear for the social cohesion in the area in the south of Nineveh province.

Around 500 youths organised a demonstration today in Qayyarah which comes one day after the Nineveh Council called on the local government to transfer the relatives and families of the Isis militants from Qayyarah into a camp.

Ali Hamoodi a resident of Qayyarah who took part in today’s demonstration told Kirkuknow: “I don’t want the relatives of Daesh to stay here, when they were here, they took away my father on charges of working with the security forces, and executed him with a number of other people.” He warned “we want the people who worked with Daesh to leave and if they don’t, we will destroy their houses. “

A banner form the demonstration today which demands the expulsion of Isis family members from Qayyarah (photograph: Kirkunow, 22 June 2017)

The police in Qayyarah dispersed the protesters quickly but given the number of protests and the charged atmosphere in the area, the central government needs to act urgently according to activists.

Yusuf Edris a human rights activist in Qayyarah says the situation is tense and urgent measures need to be taken because there have been a number of meetings about these tensions but produced no result.

Last Sunday (18th of June) the Iraqi National Intelligence Service said that no family member of Isis should be forced out of their areas and asked those who have evidence to take the legal and court’s route.

The families that are currently being threatened to be evicted from Qayyarah consist of women and children.

Qayyarah is 60km south of Mosul city and its the biggest subdistrict in the province. Most residents which number around 112,000 are Sunnis. As the Iraqi security forces retook the areas around Qayyarah and moved towards Mosul late last year, the central government ordered the unit that deals with crimes against national security to identify those who assisted Islamic State and until now thousands of people have been arrested.

Basima Basim of the Nineveh Council told Kirkuknow “camps have been prepared for the family members of Daesh and they must move to these camps…there they will go through retraining to forget teaching of Daesh and can be returned to their areas.”

Yusuf Edris the activist believes evicting the family members is a mistake and the children of these families instead should be reintegrated into the national curriculum.

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