Aid workers may head back to southern Iraq

A return to southern Iraq by the refugee council would also facilitate the return of Iraqis denied asylum in Denmark One year after Camp Danevang's closure in southern Iraq, the area has once again become safe enough for the Danish...

One year after Camp Danevang's closure in southern Iraq, the area has once again become safe enough for the Danish Refugee Council to consider resending a team to the region, according to Berlingske Tidende newspaper.

The aid organisation said it would make its decision on whether to return to the area at the end of the summer, assuming the situation in southern Iraq remains stable.

Because the region had until now been deemed unsafe by most military and international advisors, around 500 refugees from southern Iraq who were denied asylum in Denmark have not been sent back yet.

The nationalist Danish People's Party will now push to have the refugees returned home as soon as possible. The government-leading Liberal Party also wants the refugees to be sent back, but only if conditions are safe.

'We first need to confirm that the situation in the region is stable,' Eyvind Vesselbo, the Liberal's integration spokesman, told public broadcaster DR. 'If the council gives us the green light, it would also make the refugees feel that it's safe for them to return.'

The Danish Refugee Council currently has 350 employees working in Iraq, primarily in mine clearing and rebuilding projects.

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