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WikiLeaks: 2007-02-20: 07BAGHDAD621: Ministry of Displacement and Migration (MODM) Activities in Kirkuk

by WikiLeaks. 07BAGHDAD621: February 20, 2007.

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2012 at 08:55 PM UT


Viewing cable 07BAGHDAD621, MINISTRY OF DISPLACEMENT AND MIGRATION (MODM)

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07BAGHDAD621 2007-02-20 18:15 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO2348
PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #0621/01 0511815
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 201815Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9784
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BAGHDAD 000621 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
WASHINGTON FOR PRM 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREF PHUM IZ
SUBJECT: MINISTRY OF DISPLACEMENT AND MIGRATION (MODM) 
ACTIVITIES IN KIRKUK 
 
REF: KIRKUK 004 
 
1.  (SBU) SUMMARY:   Sheikh Abdullah Fadil, head of the 
MODM,s Kirkuk Office, says his primary responsibilities 
include care of returning and new internally displaced people 
(IDPS), and of stateless persons.  He currently is focused on 
assisting arriving IDPs from central and southern Iraq. His 
office receives support from international partners such as 
the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the 
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as 
well as local and national NGOs, but is still short of 
sufficient resources to carry out its responsibilities. 
Because of the Article 140 process and sensitivities about 
Kirkuk,s ethnic balance, the Provincial Council has placed 
restrictions on admissions of new IDPs to the Province unless 
they can demonstrate former Kirkuk residence. As a result, 
Kirkuk has received far fewer recent IDPs than adjacent 
provinces.  Abdullah has asked the PC to create temporary 
residence permits for IDPs.  About 1500 IDP families have 
arrived in the last year with about 300 lacking official 
permission.  Kirkuk,s IDP camps are full, and new arrivals 
without resources are forced to squat at various locations in 
the city.    Abdullah wants the US to join MODM as a 
"partner" in solving Kirkuk,s IDP issues. END SUMMARY. 
 
2. (SBU)   IPAO met recently with Sheikh Abdullah Fadil, 
director of MODM,s Kirkuk office.  Abdullah has been the 
head of the Kirkuk MODM office since it opened in February 
2005.  The purpose of the Ministry, said Abduallah, is to 
"take care of emigration and to also take care of people 
displaced by force" during the Baathist regime.  Besides 
IDPs, MODM also takes care of refugees in Iraq and stateless 
people.   Another purpose is to take care of persons 
displaced since Iraq,s liberation in April 2003. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
THE MODM,S SMALL BUDGET REFLECTS COORDINATOR ROLE 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
3.  (SBU) Last year,s annual budget of the entire Ministry 
was only $5 million, he said, while the budget of the Red 
Crescent society, "that small organization" is about $50 
million.  He said the result was that MODM had "deficiencies" 
affecting all offices and locations, including Kirkuk, where 
there were "many big problems."  Abdullah added, however, 
that his office cooperates with and receives some support 
from the Ministry,s international partners, including the 
IOM and the UNHCR, as well as from other NGOS, "local and 
national."   But the combined assistance of all these is 
"still not enough."  (NOTE: Our understanding is that the 
MODM is intended to be a coordinator rather than an executor 
of IDP programs --- its low budget reflects this role, since 
it is largely devoted to paying for ministry staff and 
expenses, and not to directly funding IDP programs.  (Rafa ) 
do you agree with this?)YES END NOTE). 
 
--------------------------------------------- - 
VILLAGES DESTROYED BY SADDAM SHOULD BE REBUILT 
--------------------------------------------- - 
4. (SBU)   Abdullah stated that that it is "our humanitarian" 
"moral purpose" to reconstruct all of the areas where 
villages were destroyed by Saddam. Due to lack of funds, 
however,  his office can not carry out this role.  There is 
also a problem, he said, with people who left after the war 
started in 2003  as well as with IDPs who arrived in Kirkuk 
after the Samarra bombing last year.  The latter came to 
Kirkuk thinking that it was "quiet and secure."  Because, he 
said, Kirkuk is known as "Little Iraq" due to its ethnic mix, 
it appealed to many different people fleeing from Baghdad and 
other points in central and southern Iraq where the security 
situation had become very bad. 
 
5.  (SBU) The majority of these settled in Kirkuk City, where 
MODM has in place "its own mechanism" to register them, 
according to Abdullah.   The individual first receives 
permission from the local area authorities and mayor to move 
to a certain area, then needs "permission to move their 
furniture and household goods."   (NOTE:  this is identical 
to a process described by Assyrian leader Sargon Lazar in 
REFTEL.  Lazar indicated that he works in tandem with MODM, 
so the arrangement that he describes as unique to the 
Assyrians may in fact be MODM,s "mechanism."  END NOTE). 
 
-------------------- 
RESIDENCY PERMISSION 
-------------------- 
6. (SBU)   Abdullah noted that newly arrived persons 
originally from Kirkuk can get official permission to stay 
fairly easily, but for those who have no original Kirkuk 
ties, it is very hard to get permission.  This can reduce the 
 
BAGHDAD 00000621  002 OF 003 
 
 
assistance that MODM is allowed to provide them.  For 
example, he said, his office can issue a ration card to an 
arriving family if they have permission to settle, but the 
Provincial Council has "limited (MODM,s) authority" by 
ruling that only persons who were listed in Kirkuk,s 1957 
census or whose parents were listed can obtain such permission 
 
---------------------------- 
NEW ARRIVALS ONLY TEMPORARY? 
---------------------------- 
7. (SBU)   Abdullah stated that in his experience most of 
these new arrivals do not want to stay permanently because 
"life is somewhere else.'  He has stressed this to the 
members of the Kirkuk Provincial Council,s Religious and 
Social Affairs Committee, asking that they arrange to give 
such arrivals permission to stay temporarily until the 
situation improves in their home areas.  Currently, he said, 
there are at least 300 families who have arrived within the 
last year and are living here without permission.  The local 
government's hard-line position has brought protests, with 
critics saying that the Iraqi Constitution does not allow 
limitations on where Iraqi citizens can live and work in 
Iraq. 
 
--------------------------------- 
ARTICLE 140 CONCERNS AND NEW IDPS 
--------------------------------- 
8.  (SBU) Abdullah claimed that Kirkuk is the only province 
in Iraq where resettlement of Iraqi citizens is a problem. In 
all the other provinces, he said, new arrivals have "a right 
to be there."  Abdullah said that when he questions the 
government they attribute this to normalization efforts under 
Article 140. "An influx of new arrivals will create problems 
for the normalization process and for the census and 
referendum, he said. Abdullah agrees that this is a concern, 
but judges it as not comparable to the suffering of newly 
displaced IDPs.  He believes that the Provincial Government 
could easily control any problems that might impact Article 
140 implementation. 
 
------------------------------------ 
ADMITTING IDPs:  A FAIR SHARE ISSUE? 
------------------------------------ 
9.  (SBU) Abdullah seems to regard resettlement of new IDPS 
as a fair share issue.  He stated that Salah ad Din Province 
has taken in 10,000 families from Baghdad and elsewhere, 
while Ninewa has taken 8,000 and Kurdistan has taken 5,000. 
Kirkuk, he said, has only taken 1500 families so far. 
Abdullah stated that he is continuing his efforts to convince 
PC Chairman Rizgar Ali and Governor Mustapha to allow more 
people to stay, at least on a temporary basis. 
 
------------------------ 
IDP CAMPS:  NO VACANCIES 
------------------------ 
10.  (SBU) Asked where people are settling in the Province, 
Abdullah said that the new arrivals can be grouped into three 
"types":  (1) those who immediately integrate into society, 
and have money to rent housing and skills to allow them to 
quickly obtain jobs; (2) those who stay with relatives or 
friends; and (3) those with no resources.  This last group 
includes the people who end up in refugee camps or squatting 
in various sites throughout the city.  The majority of 
recently arrived IDPs fall into this last group, said 
Abdullah.  Currently, he said, there is no space available in 
the established IDP camps, and new arrivals without local 
connections or resources are found squatting on public land 
or in vacant government buildings around the city, in some 
cases forming "informal" IDP camps. 
 
------------------------------------- 
DANGEROUS DATABASES AND IDP ESTIMATES 
------------------------------------- 
11. (SBU)   Abdullah was asked to give a figure for the total 
number of IDPs who have returned to the Province, but he 
demurred, saying that his office does not keep statistics. 
He finally provided what he called a very rough estimate of 
20,000 to 25,000 families.  Asked about database use, he said 
his office does not maintain a database, because of the 
political sensitivity of any sort of statistics involving 
IDPs, new arrivals and ethnicity.  He said that any of his 
staff who attempted to collect statistics on the population 
of the IDP camps or on the ethnic identities of returnees in 
settled neighborhoods in Kirkuk would be "putting themselves 
in danger." 
 
--------------------- 
IDP CAMP ORGANIZATION 
--------------------- 
 
BAGHDAD 00000621  003 OF 003 
 
 
12. (SBU)   Abdullah noted that each IDP camp has set up a 
committee that distributes supplies and food and manages 
daily operations.  In some cases, these organizations were 
set up and leaders were selected "by the political parties," 
whereas in other cases they arose through a process of 
informal organization among the camp residents.  In both 
cases, the current leadership is well known to local 
government, which is "used to dealing with them."  To the 
degree that MODM has statistics about the camps, Abdullah 
said, it is provided through these organizations. 
 
13.  (SBU) MODM typically helps arrange the provision of 
blankets, food and other supplies for basic needs to 
destitute IDPs.  Sources of funds for these items include the 
local government and NGOS, according to Abdullah.  One 
organization, for example, recently gave food and housing 
supplies for 400 families.  To carry out its 
responsibilities, his office has a staff of about 25, 
"including guards."  Abdullah noted that the staff often 
works overtime on evenings and weekends, while receiving low 
salaries. Many, he said, have resigned and others would like 
to resign, due to the demanding work and low pay. 
 
-------------------- 
US ASSISTANCE WANTED 
-------------------- 
14. (SBU)    Abdullah closed by providing two "proposals" for 
US assistance to his office.  First, he said the US should be 
a "partner" in the IDP issue, because this issue had its 
origin in US action (i.e., the removal or Saddam and 
subsequent movement of people and most recently because of 
the strife and security crackdown in Baghdad), and because 
the US is perceived as having the abilities to come up with 
new solutions.  Second, Abdullah noted that while MODM has a 
good relationship with the Governor, it is still necessary 
that the US encourage the Provincial government to be "more 
transparent" and "easier" with IDPs, by, for example, 
increasing the number of temporary permits to stay in the 
province. 
 
15.  (SBU) COMMENT:  Abdullah's information confirmed much of 
what we already knew about his Ministry's activities in 
Kirkuk. Our sense is that they have little involvement with 
Kurdish IDPs ) at least lately ) and are focusing their 
efforts on caring for newly arriving IDPs coming from Baghdad 
and other points in central and southern Iraq.  Abdullah 
feels frustrated by his lack of resources, but, as indicated 
above, MODM is not the main executioner of assistance 
programs, and lacks the capacity to assume the role of NGOs 
that are already distributing assistance on their own. 
Abdullah's comment about the IDP camps' governing committees 
is intriguing and we intend to investigate their structure 
and functions in more detail.  END COMMENT. 
KHALILZAD

 



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