The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] UN officials focus on problem of Iraqi refugees, both internal and external

UN officials focus on problem of Iraqi refugees, both internal and external

16 May - United Nations officials turned their attention to the problem of
Iraqi refugees today, calling for the return of or compensation for up to 1
million people displaced internally by Saddam Hussein, and preparing for the
repatriation of up to 500,000 exiles from outside the country.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Representative on Internally Displaced
Persons, Francis M. Deng, said the UN should be asked to help in resolving
the issue of internal refugees, including 600,000 to 700,000 Kurds in
northern Iraq, more than 100,000 Kurds, Turkmen and Assyrians in the Kirkuk
area, tens of thousands of Arab Shiites in the centre and south, and 100,000
to 200,000 Marsh Arabs in the south.

At the same time, any solution had to assure fairness for more than 200,000
Arabs brought into the north by Mr. Hussein's regime to replace the Kurds,
Mr. Deng said in a statement in Geneva.

"Forced displacement is one of the more insidious assaults on human rights
and can undermine and violate ethnic identity and dignity. The quicker the
displacement can be acknowledged and addressed, the more likely it will be
that stability and unity will be brought to Iraq," he added.

He said reconstruction and development funds, including oil revenues, should
be used to help people return or obtain compensation for land and property
lost but in either case "fairness must be assured for the more than 200,000
Arabs" brought into the Kirkuk area.

"To help these diverse groups better manage their returns and their
competing land and property claims, the United Nations should be requested
to assist, given its experience in this area," Mr. Deng declared. "It could
provide objective advice and assistance with returns and help set up
effective claims commissions to adjudicate property disputes."

On the question of external refugees, a spokesman for the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the agency was preparing for the
return of up to 500,000 Iraqis, mainly from Iran and Jordan.
UNHCR was now operating in Iraq's three main regions, and was also checking
on thousands of internal foreign refugees, mainly Palestinians and Iranians,
many of whom had been evicted from their homes while others wanted to
repatriate due to tension with host communities, spokesman Kris Janowski
said in Geneva.

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]