Friday, June 01, 2012

Going Home to Iraq

The return of refugees to Iraq has been an underappreciated consequence of the Arab Spring:
"Most of the estimated 2.3 million refugees fled the sectarian violence that erupted in the country after Saddam Hussein was overthrown in the United States-led offensive of 2003. The bloodshed peaked with clashes between Shia and Sunni Arabs in 2006-07. Others left the country while Saddam was still presiding over three decades of repressive rule...
"Now, however, officials in charge of immigration and refugee issues have told IWPR they are seeing a marked increase in the numbers opting to return, and they say most are coming from those Arab countries that have experienced unrest over the last year."
Iraqis interviewed for this article say they still don't trust the security situation in Iraq, but that there are no longer advantages to living in other countries.  The Iraqi government credits its own resettlement programs, but there appears to be no evidence for that considering it had been around for several years before the refugees started returning last year.  I also suspect most the of returnees are Sunnis.  I would like to learn more about how they are fitting into the new Iraq both economically and politically.



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