Iraq: Civilian Village Project


Despite physical and economic threats, IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) from nine area villages are still working hard on their idea of building one new village together in a safe place, so the displaced families can break the cycle of conflict and start normal village life again.

CPT-Iraq team members have continued to act as a bridge between the villagers and previously inaccessible government and international organizations to help make this new village a reality.  In a series of meetings, village leaders elected two spokespersons and are in the process of forming a council that will include women and youth representatives.

A promising step forward was made when village leaders and the mayor decided to build the homes on the current site of the Zharawa tent camp.  Mayor Hassan of Qeladzê told CPT that no one has done this kind of work with internally displaced villagers before.

Meanwhile, bombing along the border regions continues.

•  20 April 2010: Iran attacked four villages in the sub-districts of Sangasar and Zharawa.  People observed Turkish surveillance planes flying overhead just before Iran pounded the area with shells for twenty minutes.  Shelling occurred close to the villages Alia Rush, Serkhan, Shnowa, and Qala Tookan.  The villagers there reported that the shelling did not cause injuries or extensive damage.
•  28 April 2010: Iran shelled villages in the Zharawa sub-district for two hours after people in the region observed Turkish surveillance planes flying over the area.  Attacks occurred near the villages of Razga and Basta.  Villagers reported that the shelling injured a shepherd and killed sheep.
•  11 May 2010: Turkish bombing of border villages in the Zharawa area ruined the farmers’ spring planting.  
•  15 May 2010: A woman sustained injuries from Turkish bombing.  From her hospital bed, she told CPTers that when the first rockets hit, she and her two daughters were washing themselves in preparation for noon prayers.  The rocket explosions destroyed their house immediately.  Shrapnel struck the woman in her left arm and left leg, breaking both limbs.