Closure of camps picks up pace

Last IDP families in Tazada Camp opt to stay in Garmiyan

GARMIYAN — The last 120 internally displaced families from Tazade Camp in Sulaymaniyah’s Garmiyan area have relocated within Garmiyan instead of returning to their area of origin.

The camp was officially closed March 19, 2024, after the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement announced that the families had returned home and were provided with financial aid of four million dinars each.

Previously, the camp housed 500 internally displaced families from various parts of Iraq following the ISIS assault in 2014, with the majority having since returned to their original homes. Most displaced individuals were originally from the governorates of Diyala, Salah Al-Din, and Babil.

Haider Fazil, head of the Human Rights Office in Garmiyan, told 964media, “The 120 families that remained did not return to their original homes and, upon their request, have been relocated to various areas within Garmiyan.”

Fazil added, “They have been monitored by security forces and were given residency permits.”

Many of the families who chose to stay have established livelihoods and employment within the Garmiyan administration, opting to stay in the area.

One of the Iraqi government’s priorities is to return displaced people to their original homes. The government has decided to close the camps for displaced people in the Kurdistan region by July 30, 2024, and ensure their return to their respective areas.

Garmiyan previously had two camps for displaced people: Qoratu Camp and Tazade Camp.

The Qoratu Camp in Garmiyan was officially shut last November. A number of families returned to their places of origin, while others relocated to Tazade Camp in Kalar before it was closed.

Qoratu Camp housed 650 displaced families from Diyala, Salah Al-Din, Anbar, and Babil governorates.

As of the time Qoratu Camp closed, over 30,000 internally displaced persons were residing outside of camps within the Garmiyan administration.

The Kurdistan Region hosts a total of 26 camps, with 16 located in Duhok and six in Erbil. The fate of these camps is an ongoing point of contention between the Kurdistan Region and the federal government.