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Cablegate: Usaid/Dart Northern Iraq Update

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 001104

SIPDIS

STATE ALSO PASS USAID/W
STATE FOR PRM/ANE, EUR/SE, NEA/NGA, IO AND SA/PAB
NSC FOR JDWORKEN, HMANN, ZKHALILZAD, QUANRUD AND BRYZA
USAID FOR USAID/A, DCHA/AA, DCHA/RMT, DCHA/FFP
USAID FOR DCHA/OTI, DCHA/DG, ANE/AA
USAID FOR USAID/AA:NATSIOS
USAID FOR DCHA/OFDA:WGARVELINK, BMCCONNELL, KFARNSWORTH
USAID FOR ANE/AA:WCHAMBERLIN
ROME FOR FODAG
GENEVA FOR RMA AND NKYLOH
DOHA FOR MSHIRLEY
ANKARA FOR AMB WRPEARSON, ECON AJSIROTIC AND DART
AMMAN FOR USAID AND DART

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF IZ WFP
SUBJECT: USAID/DART NORTHERN IRAQ UPDATE

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. There has been no new influx of IDPs in northern Iraq
since Iraq closed and mined the roads from the South. The
ICRC confirmed that movements in the Kurdish-controlled
areas were small compared to recent media reports. On 24
March MCI reported that people have begun returning to
Sulaimaniyah from their temporary settlements in the hills.
According to UNICEF, there are now reported to be 250,000 to
280,000 IDPs in the north, and the authorities and aid
agencies in northern Iraq are prepared for new
displacements. End Summary.

----------------------------------------
NORTHERN IRAQ - POPULATION DISPLACEMENTS
----------------------------------------

1. The DART continues to gather information on the
situation in the Kurdish-controlled region of northern Iraq.
Since the Government of Iraq closed and mined roads leading
to this region from the South, there has been no new influx
of displaced persons. Populations in the area have moved
away from frontline communities, and some people are leaving
and returning to their communities based on changes in
security reports. The major concern of people in the region
is the Turkish military.

2. On 24 March, DART met with a representative from the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). ICRC is
distributing medical supplies and a small number of tents to
local authorities in the north for emergency needs. ICRC is
targeting prisoners of war, internally displaced persons
(IDPs), and the sick and wounded.

3. The ICRC delegate confirmed that movements in the
Kurdish-controlled areas were small compared to recent media
reports. He referred to "accordion"-like movements, with
people moving from their homes to traditional villages or
small camps and then returning to towns and cities,
depending on their interpretation of the security situation.

4. UNICEF's Northern Iraq Field Representative provided
more current information on population movements in northern
Iraq to the DART. According to UNICEF, the number of IDPs
swelled in the days following the onset of the conflict, to
as many as 600,000, but there was very little traffic toward
the Turkish or Iranian borders. Within days the displaced
returned to their homes. There are now reported to be
250,000 to 280,000 IDPs in the north.

5. UNICEF also reported that authorities and aid agencies
in northern Iraq are prepared for new displacements.
Eighteen campsites have been identified, and public
buildings have been identified as collective centers if
necessary. UNICEF stocks have been moved to safe areas.

6. On 24 March, Mercy Corps International (MCI) reported
that people have begun returning to Sulaimaniyah from their
temporary settlements in the hills. He said that shops and
markets in the city are reopening. MCI also stated that
there was some concern about IDPs from Dohuk reportedly
living in inadequate conditions exposed to the elements.
More current information from Dohuk indicates that some
people have now returned to their homes but their close
proximity to Musol, and the Turks, remains a concern.

JONES

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