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Tribal Disputes prevent the displaced from going back to Fallujah

Tribal Disputes prevent the displaced from going back to Fallujah

Moreover, the Observatory said that continuous presence of some of the families in the refugee camps might allow the extremists to gain support from members of those families and thus rearrange their plans accordingly.

 

 

2-8-2017

 

The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights stated that large numbers of families that were displaced last year from the city of Fallujah are now unable to return to their areas of origin due to the tribal disputes and revenge operations that erupted there despite the fact that the city was liberated more than a year ago.

Moreover, the Observatory said that continuous presence of some of the families in the refugee camps might allow the extremists to gain support from members of those families and thus rearrange their plans accordingly.

In an interview with the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights one of the displaced who has been living in the camps of Amiriyah Fallujah since May, 2016 said: “I am originally from Hasai area, but now I live in Amiriyah Fallujah Camp. I wish to go back to my normal life with my family and my job but I can’t”.

He also said: “Although I completed all of the security procedures at the government, I am still not allowed to go back to my city on a tribal basis because my brother is a member of ISIS”.

The Observatory said that because the members of some families were associated with members of ISIS, hundreds of other families were not allowed to return to their areas of origin and forced to remain in the refugee camps instead.

Another refugee said: “Al Anbar governorate required some families that wish to return to the governorate to declare that they are no longer affiliated with members of ISIS with whom they have kinship relationships. This declaration must be issued as a written pledge either at the office of the area’s mayor or by an attorney and attested at the court”.

The Observatory stated that this written declaration of disown is not enough to protect the people since the problem is between the tribes not with the government. And because there are some tribes which did not adhere to the disown pledge which is submitted by relatives of ISIS’s members, their life remains endangered.

A relief worker who visits the camps of Amiriyah Fallujah continuously said that a large number of families, around 50% of the families that live in Amiriyah Fallujah, are no longer able to return to their areas of origin although they were previously liberated.

An official at the camps of Amiriyah Fallujah told the Observatory that in the camp which he manages there are 50 families out of 190 who cannot return to their areas of origin because their departure from the city was delayed just days before the liberation, which some tribes considered as a sign of these families’ allegiance to ISIS.

He added: “The fifty families that were not allowed to return have already fulfilled all of the security inspection requirements, but members of the local police in Al Anbar governorate refused to let them return and considered their delayed stay in the city after the liberation as a sign of their allegiance to ISIS.

On the other hand, a refugee from Fallujah district who is currently living in the camps of Amiriyah Fallujah said “An inheritance dispute between me and my brothers resulted in many problems such as when they burned my house and threatened to attack me and my sons and daughters by taking advantage of their authorities and power as members of the security forces.

He added: “They (my brothers) accused my son of being a member of ISIS; however, the investigations proved his innocence. The same thing happened with my neighbors with similar details; they had a dispute over a share in an oven. The families that are threatened or accused of belonging to ISIS the most are those which left the city few days before the conclusion of the liberation operations”.

The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights believes that it is necessary to enforce the law in the liberated areas and prevent any revenge acts among the tribes and oblige them to commit to the rules. The tribes must understand that the competent authorities in the Iraqi state are the ones which determine who is a terrorist and who is not.

The Observatory stated that the occurrence of revenge acts and violence in the liberated areas was expected, but what was not expected is the Iraqi government’s inability to contain those disputes and enforce the law.

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