Iraq Staggered by Flood of Returning Refugees

Nation unprepared for needy hordes
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2007 4:00 AM CST
In the first-ever convoy financed by their government, hundreds of Iraqi refugees boarded buses leaving Syria and heading home to Baghdad, cautiously hoping the improvement in security means they can...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Better security in Baghdad has produced a dangerous and largely unforeseen problem: what to do with an influx of refugees streaming back from Syria and elsewhere now that it's safe to return. Many find their former homes have been occupied and the stranded refugees have few places to turn for food and shelter, the New York Times reports.

Hardships could end up reigniting sectarian violence, US commanders fear. They've been pressing the Iraqi government to come up with a plan to reintegrate refugees back into society. "We have been pleading with the government to come up with a policy so it is not put upon our battalion commanders to figure it out on the ground," said a senior US officer.