Iraq’s refugee crisis

Here’s a spectacular piece of ostrich-like behaviour from the US. An American spokesman in Baghdad says:

We’re not seeing internally displaced persons at the rate which causes us alarm

Huh? Is this real?
As I [wrote](http://www.ohuiginn.net/mt/2006/04/displacement_in_iraq.html) a while back, the Samarra bombing at the end of February sparked a refugee crisis which should be alarming everybody. There’s no doubt it is happening, and it is ludicrous for the US to explain it away, like they do, as people moving for “personal reasons”
Quible about the numbers if you like; none of the available figures are totally accurate. The IOM [estimate](http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/EKOI-6Q54MU?OpenDocument) has recently risen to 97,900 from a previous [68,000](http://www.iom-iraq.net/newsletters.html#marApr06) 68,000, bringing it in line with the 100,000 suggested by the Government of Iraq. But, as the IOM [explains](http://www.iom-iraq.net/newsletters/IOM_Iraq_Newsletter_marApr06_English.pdf), these numbers are more likely to be under- than over-estimates:

Discrepancy between di

2 replies on “Iraq’s refugee crisis”

The only solution seems to be to divide the country in three. Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites. That won’t eliminate all violence, but it will curb it tremendously. History shows us that people of different ethnicities and religions will not get along overnight. The only short-term solution is separation.

ooh, hello!
I can’t see how you could divide Iraq without exacerbating the situation. Most of these refugees are coming from places which are ethnically mixed. If you were going to divide Iraq on ethnic lines, you’d have to do something with all the Xs living in Y-majority provinces (where X,Y are Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis). That is, either:
a) help them move to be with people of the same ethnicity
b) protect them from communal attacks
I don’t see any plausible way of doing either of those. Especially in places like Kirkuk or Baghdad, which are very ethnically mixed.
But, I guess I’ve tended to dismiss the 3-state solution out of hand (mainly because most of the experts think it is a really bad plan, and I have too much experience of what happened when we tried it in South Asia). Perhaps I should look at it more seriously…

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