Displaced Kurds from disputed territories want to return

November 26, 2017 at 11:24 pm

IDPs from Tuz Khormato demonstrate in Rezgar town. They want to return to their homes (photograph: Kirkuknow, 26 November 2017)

Zhino Khalid

Displaced Kurds from Tuz khormato held a demonstration today, Sunday, calling on the Iraqi authorities and the international community to facilitae their return to their city.

Tuz Khormato is a mixed Turkmen-Kurdish city in Salahaddin province which was retaken on October 16 by the Iraqi forces including the Shia militias. The retaking of the city which resulted in violent clashes between Kurdish volunteers and Shia militia forces came after the central government decided to extent its authority to the disputed territory as a response to a referendum for independence held by the Kurds on September 25.

The demonstration held in Rezgari subdistrict near Kalar city was attended by several dozen IDPs from Tuz Khormato in which they released a statement and called on the government and the international community and the UN to address their needs and facilitate their return to their city. .

The demonstrators also asked for a committee to be formed in order to address the issues in their city as well as compensating those who incurred losses during the violent clashes.

Tens of thousands of Kurds from Tuz Khormato and the neighbouring areas have been displaced since October 16 and many still live in difficult conditions in IDP camps as the winter arrives. Kurdish forces took over Tuz Khomrato and other disputed territories in the summer of 2014 when Islamic State swooped across northern Iraq and thousands of Iraqi soldiers fled the area.

Normalising the situation in Tuz Khormato and maintaining of peace and social justice to the area was another demand of the protesters. They also called for deployment of a neutral force to maintain peace in the city.

The demonstrators accused Turkmen Shia militias of burning and destroying their house. “Everyday they burn some Kurdish houses and pillage others,” the statement read. Shia militia state that the reports of burning and looting is exaggerated.

In October, the UN accused the Shia militias of burning 150 houses and blowing up another 11.

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