Diyala governorate profile, May 2015
Bordering Baghdad, Diyala is situated on Iraq’s eastern border with Iran. With a total population of 1,560,021, it is one of the most rural governorates in Iraq.
Over the past decade Diyala saw multiple waves of displacement. The February 2006 bombing of the Al-Askari Shia mosque in Samarra city triggered a wave of sectarian conflict. In result, 8% of the then displaced population was driven to Diyala. Since 2013 Diyala has been receiving a new influx of IDPs driven here in result of the latest conflict, totalling 138,030 IDP individuals. A total number of over 93,000 persons left the governorate seeking safer locations. In June, armed groups (AGs) seized control in Jalawla and Saadiyah areas causing displacement to the centre of Khanaqin district. In result, Khanaqin, which is reportedly a disputed area between Diyala and Kurdistan, held the largest share of IDPs in the governorate. This is due to stable security situation in the district centre, given that Peshmarga soldiers were deployed on the ground to maintain safety. In result of Iraqi Security Forces(ISF) advancements many areas have been reclaimed, including parts of Al-Maqdoudiya and Al-Khalis districts, which in turn brought many IDPsto return to their properties. However, IOM reported that many houses suffered damage during the ongoing violence. Also troubling is that kidnappings and assassinations by unknown actors have been reportedly spreading in Baquba district.