As the preparations are underway to liberate the City of Mosul from the so-called Islamic State terror group, thousands of families have returned to their villages in Zummar, Nineveh Governorate, after Kurdish forces liberated and secured the area.
The High Committee to Evaluate and Respond to International Reports states that more than 2,000 Arab and Kurdish families have returned to Zummar and surrounding villages since the Kurdish military forces, the Peshmerga, retook the city from ISIS in October of 2014.
The Committee states that the return of the internally displaced persons demonstrates that “both Arab and Kurdish residents have been permitted re-entry to their villages. Additionally, it is indicative of the KRG’s inclusive policy regarding freedom of movement and promoting the return of citizenry to their villages and homes.”
The Committee issued a response to an article published by Reuters that alleged destruction of Arab homes and intentional removal of Arab elements in Zummar by Kurds.
According to the Head of Security Agency in Zummar, seventeen homes had been damaged when the Kurdish Forces liberated the area from ISIS, and the reason for that was “large presence of improvised explosive devices planted by ISIS.” He says “more than 173 tonnes of explosives unearthed in Zummar town center alone.”
The Head of the High Committee to Evaluate and Respond to International Reports, Dindar Zebari, says that the Kurdistan Regional Government “takes seriously any claims which concern the human rights and international humanitarian standards in the Kurdistan Region.”
He says, “the KRG is wholly committed to strengthening its governance practices including its observation of international human rights norms and standards.”