Hawl Camp refugees want to set up commune system back home

The commune system has helped solving many problems experienced in the crowded camp.

Hawl Camp Management Member Silava Shêxo said that when Iraqi refugees returned to their own lands, they wanted to build a parliament and a commune to be ruled by co-presidency they experienced in northern Syria and said the refugees could not return to their homes because the border doors were closed.

In the Hawl Camp, established on 9 March 2016, there were about 500 refugees in the early days.

As the attacks of the DAESH mercenaries in Iraq increased, thousands flocked to the camps in Northern Syria and now Hawl Camp is hosting more than 33 thousand refugees.

The camp is divided in 5 sectors. Three sectors are inhabited by Iraqi citizens while the other 2 are hosting Syrian refugees.

The number of Iraqi refugees is around 23 thousand, while the number of Syrians is around 10 thousand.

After the defeat of DAESH in Iraq, refugees naturally want to return to their houses. ANHA talked with Silava Shêxo, member of the Hawl Camp management, about this issue.

Silava Shêxo described how the camp was set up, the difficulties in planning camp life, and how the commune structure of the camp actually dealt with the various issues.

"We had a lot of problems with the delivery of tents and aid. However, - she said - we dealt with them thanks to the help of the authorities of the Democratic Autonomous Administration with the organisation and the TEV-DEM work in setting up the commune structure. We discussed the various issues also with the Women’s Houses”.

After the defeat of DAESH in Iraq, said Silava Shêxo, the Democratic Autonomous Administration and the Iraqi government jointly facilitated the return of some 32 thousand Iraqi refugees through 10 determined routes.

As to the situation of Syrian refugees, Shêxo said that they could return to their houses thanks to the coordinated work by the YPG and SDF, once their lands were liberated.

Silava Shêxo stated that Iraqi refugees asked to return every day.

"Many Iraqi refugees are asking to return to their regions. However, - she added - the Iraqi government has closed all border gates since January 1st and no one can actually go home”.

The camp executive pointed out that the Hawl camp is big and that the problems of planning and organization are clearly many. However she said that the same refugees, together with the camp administration, have set up a council and communes to facilitate their work.  

Noting that each commune involves 24 tents, Shêxo said: “After the establishment of the council and the communes, the administration of the camp has greatly improved. Meetings and systematic work in the communes deal with aid packages, water, food, bread and other needs which are distributed on a regular basis”.

Silava Shêxo also added that Iraqi refugees have expressed their desire to reproduce the same council and commune system once they are back in their own cities and regions.

"We are working with all our resources to meet the needs of our refugees" assured Silava Shêxo.