- Title: IRAQ: HUNDREDS OF REFUGEES RETURN HOME FROM SAUDI ARABIA REFUGEE CAMP
- Date: 24th October 2003
- Summary: (EU) BASRA ,IRAQ (OCTOBER 21, 2003) (REUTERS) 1. SLV MOVING TRUCKS LOADED WITH BELONGINGS; TRUCK'S LOAD; MOVING CONVOY OF BUSES ON A ROAD (3 SHOTS) 0.40 2. MV BUS; MV PEOPLE GETTING OFF THE BUS; PEOPLE HUGGING; PEOPLE UNLOADING THEIR LUGGAGE FROM BUSES; PEOPLE HUGGING AND KISSING (8 SHOTS) 2.25 3. MV PEOPLE FILLING IN DOCUMENTS SAT AT A TABLE 2.31 4. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED IRAQI REFUGEE SAYING "I have mixed feelings of happiness and sadness because I've been away for too long and now I am coming back to my liberated country with so many holy sites. We have been away thirteen years, spread all over the arab countries, where we have suffered a lot, especially in Saudi Arabia." 3.01 5. MV REFUGEES MEETING WITH THEIR FAMILIES (3 SHOTS) 3.37 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 8th November 2003 12:00
- Location: BASRA, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVA7JB8CGBGA8CJAWOU1Z9NMXHLQ
- Story Text: Hundreds of Iraqi refugees returned from a Saudi
Arabia refugee camp to the Iraqi city of Basra.
Hundreds of Iraqi refugees returned from a Saudi
Arabia refugee camp to the southern Iraqi city of Basra on
Tuesday (October 21) after spending 12 years in a Rafha
desert refugee camp.
Rafha, 10 kilometres (six miles) from the Iraqi border,
was built 12 years ago and at one point sheltered 33,000
refugees, many of whom fled southern Iraq after a Shi'ite
uprising in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War. Many of
them later found refuge in other countries.
Since the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime in April,
residents of Rafha have begged to return home, with groups
holding short hunger strikes to pressure officials to start
the repatriation convoys.
The UNHCR estimates 3,600 of the 5,233 refugees living
in the Rafha camp will have returned to Iraq by the end of
According to the UNHCR, of four million Iraqis living
outside Iraq, up to 900,000 are either refugees or living
in a refugee-like state, mainly in Iran, Jordan and Syria.
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