A plan has been launched to reintegrate the wives and children of former Islamist fighters. An estimated 340 Tajik families remain in camps in Iraq and Syria, with at least 300 minors. The main aim of the initiative remains the eradication of extremist tendencies in the country.
Dushanbe (AsiaNews) – The government of Tajikistan has approved a program of “rehabilitation, adaptation to normal life and guarantee of employment and education for women and children returning from war zones”, introduced last September and now finally activated for the period 2023-2027, to integrate the many family members of ISIS fighters of Tajik nationality recovered from Syria and Iraq. The text also talks about medical assistance, social rehabilitation and other dimensions of reintegration into society.
These are measures introduced with the aim of countering extremism and terrorism, involving all state institutions, but also the self-government bodies of towns and villages, civil society associations and international organisations. It is estimated that around 340 families still remain in the conflict zones, 1200 people in total with at least 300 minors. According to information, women and children do not take an active part in war actions.
Many women who have returned home, according to the text of the program, “still live in a particularly unstable emotional state, due to the death of their husbands and the ties with other women remaining in Syria”, making the process of re-establishment particularly difficult for a normal life.
Even the children are not immediately reinserted into their families of origin and handed over to their relatives, to verify “the presence of religious prejudices within the family”, and if a child is left completely without relatives, his education is entrusted to an internee at departments of the Ministry of Education of Tajikistan.
It is also expected that the heads of local administrations ensure surveillance, to avoid episodes of discrimination against these women and children, both in their places of residence and in the schools where they are placed.
Members of the GKNB security services, psychologists and representatives of religious communities collaborate throughout the program, together with social services. The government has allocated the sum of 6.6 million som, over half a million euros, to the five-year program, trusting in the further support of Tajikistan’s international partners.
The main aim, however, remains the eradication of extremist tendencies and adaptation to the life of Tajik society. After 2019, thanks to the aid of the international community, 334 women and an unknown number of children, family members of ISIS terrorists, returned to Tajikistan from the territory of Syria and Iraq, those who voluntarily agreed to return to their homeland. The last group arrived last May from Syria, coming from the ISIS refugee collection camps, consisting of around a hundred people, 31 women and 73 minors, including 33 girls and 40 boys.
Source : Asia News