Iraqi politicians push for IDP camp closures

By March 5, 2024

Iraq (MNN) — Iraq is pushing to close all IDP or internally displaced persons camps by the end of July. More about that here.

Samuel* of Redemptive Stories says many people affected by this move would’ve gone home sooner if they could, but they cannot because it’s dangerous.

“The southern part is still unsafe because the PKK is still there, and there’s fighting. Only about 15 percent of those people have been able to return,” Samuel says.

“The majority of the (IDP camp) community is from Sinjar, which is in federal Iraq. About 85 percent of the people from the north part of that have returned home.”

Many remaining IDP camp residents belong to the Yazidi people group. “They’re not particularly liked by either side, whether you be Christian or Muslim. They’re looked down upon by all the other groups,” Samuel explains.

“Historically, they’ve been reclusive, but ISIS forced them, because of the displacement, into other spaces. Many of the Christians and Yazidis that were affected by ISIS fled into Iraqi Kurdistan.”

Restoring the pre-ISIS status quo in Iraq is a top political priority.

“A lot of politicians ran on this kind of platform: ‘We want to put everybody back where they belong. We’re past what happened with ISIS, and our country is stable and secure,’” Samuel says.

“They now want to enact that platform, and that’s why they’re trying to press into Kurdistan to have these IDP camps closed.”

Pray that Christian ministries will gain new opportunities to establish Gospel work among Yazidi communities. Ask the Holy Spirit to soften hearts on both sides of the ethnic divide.

“The human heart hates what it doesn’t understand,” Samuel notes.





Header image is  a representative stock photo courtesy of Ahmed akacha/Pexels.

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