More than half of Iraq’s displaced have returned home: IOM

The cost to rebuild after driving out Daesh will be enormous, according to Iraqi officials. Baghdad estimates $100 billion is needed nationwide. (AP)
Updated 04 January 2018

More than half of Iraq’s displaced have returned home: IOM

BAGHDAD: More than half of Iraqis displaced by recent conflicts to other parts of the country have now returned to their homes, the UN’s International Organization for Migration said on Thursday.
At the end of December, more than 3.2 million displaced Iraqis had gone home while 2.6 million still lived away from home, the IOM said.
Iraqi forces have regained large swathes of the country from Daesh since the terrorists seized them in 2014, sending tens of thousands running for their lives.
In December, Baghdad declared victory over Daesh after a three-year war against the group that caused tens of thousands more to flee.
“The retaking of areas by the Iraqi forces is significant, as is the improvement of security,” said IOM communications officer Sandra Black.
Nearly one third are reported to have returned to houses that have been significantly or completely damaged, she said. Around 60 percent went back to housing that was only moderately damaged.
Other infrastructure has also been affected in the fighting, with residents in some areas reporting no water or power supply.
More than one million Iraqis have returned home to the Sunni-majority western province of Anbar, from which Iraqi forces expelled the last Daesh fighters late last year.
More than a third of those internally displaced are in the northern province of Nineveh, after tens of thousands fled second city Mosul during the months-long military campaign to retake the city.


Saudi Arabia, other Middle East countries warn citizens after protests erupt in Lebanon

Updated 18 October 2019

Saudi Arabia, other Middle East countries warn citizens after protests erupt in Lebanon

  • Saudi Arabia and Egypt called on citizens to avoid protest areas
  • Kuwait’s embassy in Lebanon asked citizens wishing to travel to Lebanon to postpone their plans

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Lebanon called on its citizens to avoid places where protests are taking place in the country on Friday. 

The Kingdom’s embassy in Beirut advised its nationals to take care and to “stay away from places of protest,” Al-Ekhbariya news channel reported. 

Egypt’s embassy in the Lebanese capital Beirut also called on its nationals in the country to avoid protest areas, Egyptian state news agency MENA said.

“The embassy calls on all Egyptian citizens in Lebanon to avoid the areas of gatherings and protests, to be careful in their movements and to abide by the instructions of the Lebanese authorities in this regard,” MENA said.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s embassy in Lebanon asked citizens wishing to travel to Lebanon to wait because of the current protests and unrest.

“The embassy also calls on citizens currently in Lebanon to take utmost care and stay away from crowds and demonstrations,” the embassy said in its tweet.

Protesters across Lebanon blocked roads with burning tires on Friday and thousands marched in Beirut, calling on the government to resign over an economic crisis.