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Cablegate: Situation of Internally Displaced Persons in Dohuk

VZCZCXRO6543
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #1597/01 1360804
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 160804Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1178
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 001597

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF PGOV IZ TU
SUBJECT: Situation of Internally Displaced Persons in Dohuk
Province, Iraqi Kurdistan
Sensitive But Unclassified
This is an Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Reconstruction Team (RRT) cable.


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The majority of the Internally Displaced Persons
(IDPs) in Dohuk Province are from two groups: Iraqi Christians from
Mosul who moved for economic reasons or fled sectarian violence; and
Iraqis from Baghdad and other parts of Iraq who fled due to the
security environment. The office of the Governor of Dohuk Province
told us the total number of IDP families reached 9,055 or 51,749
individuals. He said the urgent needs of the IPDs are shelter and
access to jobs and schools. The Governor has proposed setting up an
IDP camp given the lack of public housing. The head of the Dohuk
Directorate of IDPs stated also that mines pose a continuing danger
for the IDPs. END SUMMARY.
2. (SBU) On April 3, IPAO Mergy traveled to Dohuk Province to
attend the monthly conference chaired by the head of Dohuk
Provincial Directorate for IDPs. She also attended a meeting on IDPs
hosted by the Governor of Dohuk on April 15. At both meetings,
representatives from UNHCR and various non-governmental
organizations were present: Middle Market Development Foundation,
Mining Advisory Group, International Relief and Development, Doste
Gunda, Harika, International Medical Corp, International Red
Crescent Society, Quandil, and Peace Winds Japan. The goal was to
coordinate support to IDPs, especially recently arrived IDPs, and to
identify funding sources and recent relief projects. Participants
gave an update on ongoing projects and clarified their roles and
available resources.
IDP POPULATION IN DOHUK
3. (SBU) At the April 3 conference, a representative of the
provincial government stated the following information on the IDPs
in the Dohuk Province:
-- 9,055 IDP families or 51,749 individuals have arrived in Dohuk
since 2005. (Note: UNHCR reports 8,436 IDP families for Dohuk
Province for the same period.)
-- Most of the IDPs now in Dohuk come from Mosul (6,771 families).
Many of these had lived in Dohuk during the 1970s and 1980s, had
returned to Mosul, and then went back again to Dohuk.
-- There are approximately 7,300 Christian IDP families out of the
total 9,055.
-- 28,998 IDPs are above 18 years old and 13,307 are under 12 years
old.
-- The IDPs are stretching the capacity of the already limited
number of essential services (fuel, electricity, water) and public
infrastructure (schools, public housing, medical care).
-- Schools in Dohuk have up to three shifts to accommodate the
additional class size. To the degree possible, schools have
introduced Arabic instruction for IDP students.
-- Most of the new IDPs are living in rented facilities and will
need to find alternative housing within a few months. Because of the
acute shortage in shelters, a transit camp is foreseeable.
-- The city of Fayda has received more than 750 newly arrived IDPs.
The provincial government and NGOs provided support and assistance:
kerosene, food, and non-food items.
THE IMPORTANCE OF DEMINING FOR IDPs
4. (SBU) The head of the Dohuk Governorate Directorate of IDPs,
Mousa Ali, said that there are three main locations of anti-personal
mines in Dohuk area: Hetit, five kilometers from the Sheladize area,
Amedi district in Fayda, and Domiz. (Note: On this information, IPAO
Mergy consulted with the MAG representative who attended the April 3
meeting. He told IPAO Mergy on April 29 that MAG is currently
preparing a report covering these issues and will forward it to IPAO
Mergy.)
POSSIBLE INCREASED DISPLACEMENT DUE TO BORDER TENSIONS
5. (SBU) On April 15, the Governor of Dohuk chaired a special
meeting on IDPs. He said that tensions on the Dohuk-Turkish border
might lead to further displacement. He believes movement will occur
both southward from the border and northward from Mosul. The
Governor explained that some fear a Turkish military intervention
into Dohuk Province. The northward movement from Mosul, he
continued, is due to generalized violence and ethnic discrimination.

MOTION TO CREATE AN IDP CAMP
6. (SBU) At the April 15 meeting, the Governor of Dohuk said that
IDPs prefer to stay with friends or relatives rather than in a
settlement area. Due to the lack of public housing and costs
associated with building permanent structures, however, the Governor
put forth the idea for newly arrived IDPs to be placed in a camp in
one of the three following locations: Shlalat, Khorsabat or Daka.
(Note: Shlalat is in Ninewa Province, not Kurdistan.) A camp set up
in Shlalat, he added, would allow IDPs to remain close to
educational facilities and family networks
7. (SBU) At the April 15 meeting, the UNHCR representative stressed
the need for contingency planning and presented its key priorities
in the event of major fighting along the border with Turkey that
would result in large numbers of IDPs. The UNHCR Representative,
however, underscored the need to integrate the IDPs rather than to
create camps.
8. (SBU) COMMENT: The monthly IDP meetings hosted in Dohuk are
well-organized and attended by UNHCR and the relevant
non-governmental organizations and provincial government. This
regular interaction ensures that assistance efforts are not

BAGHDAD 00001597 002 OF 002


duplicated among the different organizations. The NGOs and the Dohuk
provincial government are not able to cover all the needs of IDPs in
the areas of shelter, educational facilities, and employment
opportunities.

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