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Tribal differences prevents Internally displaced People from returning to Falluja

The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights declared that large numbers of displaced families from Al-Fallujah city can not return to their areas of origin, despite the liberation more than two and a half years ago, but tribal differences and retaliation prevents it.


The Observatory said that "the continued  existence of these families in the camp will lead to community problems and other problems related to health and education, their children are not attending school and not receiving adequate treatment of the diseases they suffer from more than two and a half years, especially they live in a desert area who have Minimum requirements of a decent living.

These families, who can not return to their areas, live in the camp of Amiriya Fallujah, west of Baghdad. Their humanitarian situation is difficult, food and health assistance that they receive is insufficient.


The Observatory also said that the continued existence of some families in the camps may allow extremists to get some support and rearrange their plans from there. People must return to their areas and their return must be safe.


In an interview with the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights, a displaced man living in Al-Amriya camps in Falluja since May 2016 said: "I am from al-Husay area, and I live in the camp of Amiriya Falluja, I hope to return to my normal life with my family and my profession but I can not."


He also said: "although I completed all security measures for the government, but I am prohibited tribally from returning to my city because of my brother association with ISIS."


The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights, said that "the association of some families in close proximity with one of the members belonging to ISIS, prevents the return of hundreds of them to their areas and stay in the camps of displacement."


"Anbar province has stipulated that some families who want to return to the province must declare their innocence from their members belonging to ISIS, and there must be a written pledge either to the area Mayor or district president and then get ratified by the court."


He also said "We are ready to do anything to return to our homes, but at the same time we want the government to ensure our return and to prevent anyone from attacking us, we fear the attacks, arrests and retaliation that we may face since we haven't committed any crime.” 


The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights said that "the process of repudiation is not enough to protect the people. The problem is between the tribes, not with the government, and because the tribes there have not complied with the pledge of allegiance from their relatives that belongs to ISIS members, their lives are still at risk."


 A relief worker who regularly visits the camps in Amiriya Falluja said that 

"A large number of families in Amiriya Falluja are no longer able to return to their areas despite liberation, They fear retaliation or murder or believe that previously used security methods, such as a secret detective will be used again.


"There have been no real steps and procedures for the Iraqi government to secure the return of the displaced. Their return is not enough. They need government and community shelters to be able to return, they are not part of ISIS so they be treated like this."


An official in the camps of Amiriya Fallujah, told the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights that "in the camp that he is in charge of there are 50 families out of 190 can not return to their areas because of their delayed departure from the city even before liberation by days, and this is considered by some tribes a loyalty to ISIS.”


He added "the 50 families who are forbidded to return have all security check conditions, but members in the local police of Anbar province, wouldn't allow them to go back and considered their late departure from the city is a compromise and toleration with the organization.


A displaced man from Falluja province who is now in the camps of Amiriya Fallujah, said that " a disagreement with my brothers on an inheritance resulted in many problems, including burning my house and threatening to oppose to my son and daughters, taking advantage of their influence in the security services."


He added: "They (his brothers) accused my son of belonging to the organization, but later investigations proved his innocence, the same subject happened with my neighbors in similar details on the partnership share of a bakehouse. Most threatened families of charges to belonging to ISIS are those who emerged before the end of the liberation days."


The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights believes that "there is a need to enforce the law in liberated areas and to prevent the occurrence of reprisals between the tribes, and the need of tribal communities understanding that the competent institutions in the Iraqi state are the ones who's responsible for identification of terrorism suspects or not."


The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights expressed that "the outbreak of retaliation and hostility in liberated areas was expected, but what's not expected is the Iraqi government inability to maintain these conflicts and impose law in them."


The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights demanded the Iraqi government to carry out its duties to protect civilians and provide a safe environment for them, and to criminalize all acts of retaliation or violation and to hold any one who commits them accountable under the Iraqi law.


The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights, said that "community leaders in Anbar province have a great responsibility to end the differences between the population and achieve security and stability in those areas, it is not right to keep all these tensions and conflicts between families and tribes without any intervention to help to end it .


The Observatory stressed the need to alert Iraqi security authorities from attempts of influence use and power to some security members to achieve personal interests or to pressure some of the displaced people and blackmailing them, these behaviors undermine the law and reduce the mechanisms of its implementation.