Theft of kerosene, money, and gold are frequent in IDP camps in Duhok

Duhok, Sharya IDP camp houses thousands of Ezidis, 2019. Photo: Ammar Azizi

Ammar Aziz- Duhok

In the IDP camps, theft of kerosene, money, and gold are frequent, according to the people and authority of the camps.

Based on its investigation, KirkukNow learned more than 15 cases of theft had been recorded within two months.

Hassan Dakhil Bro, who has lived in Sharya IDP camp for six years, said, “it has been two months that a group uses children to steal. When people are out of their tents, they steal their kerosene or money.”

“One million dinar was stolen from a relative of mine. Many more people have faced theft. Only this year, there have been 15 to 20 cases of theft.”

Hassan claimed that a week ago, 500 thousand was stolen from him, and when he filled a lawsuit, “they found out a 12 years girl did it. Later we solved the issue through a tribal agreement. Our fear does not come from those minors. We are afraid that it will become a phenomenon, and the groups will expand.”

Hassan and many people of the camps, through KirkukNow, asked for the help of the security forces put an end to thefts.

In Duhok province, 17 camps houses thousands of families who are from different regions in Iraq, especially Nineveh province.

Salim Saed, head of media of humanitarian affairs board, said, “theft exists in all the camps. The scale varies from a camp to another, but most of the cases are kerosene theft. Surprisingly, they are stealing kerosene while the IDPs are provided with kerosene three to four times yearly.”

The board is under the administration of Duhok province and oversees the affairs of the camps.

Saed claims that the number of IDPs is significant. They include all types of persons and cannot easily be controlled. “still a substantial amount of thefts has not happened, the security of the camp is under control.

According to Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) data, more than 787 thousand and 367 IDPs reside in the Kurdistan Region.

Hakar Mohammed Amin, director of Sharya camp, said, “due to the delay of employee salaries and financial difficulties, some theft cases happened, but we cannot reveal the exact statistics.”

He thinks the cases are normal because only in Sharya camp 17 thousand IDPs live and, “for some of the theft, lawsuits are not filled. They make tribal agreements among themselves.

 He also reaffirmed that “it is only cases; it has not become a phenomenon; the security forces are working to find the stealers.”

A significant number of IDPs in Duhok are not ready to return to their place of origin after the liberation of their hometowns from the Islamic State (IS), claiming that their areas lack reconstructions, service delivery, and stability.

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