Iraq, Baghdad: Yesterday, according to a officials news, Iraq completely retaken Ramadi from the militant Islamic State (IS) group, but now faces the enormous challenges of removing bombs, reestablishing basic services and rebuilding the shattered city. Government forces recaptured areas on the eastern outskirts of the Anbar provincial capital from IS after weeks of fighting, and authorities say that all areas immediately surrounding the city have been retaken.
Anbar Governor Sohaib al-Rawi told journalists in Baghdad, “All of Ramadi is now liberated” and responsibility for security is being handed over to local police. But the city’s civilian population has been displaced, and “the biggest challenge before us is clearing the areas of mines” so residents can return, Rawi said, adding that he hopes to obtain international support to remove explosives.
Lise Grande, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, said that clearing the city of explosives would cost an estimated $15 million. “The key right now is to extract the IEDs (improvised explosive devices). This is the single largest, most difficult obstacle preventing people from coming home and rebuilding their lives,” said Grande, speaking at a roundtable alongside Rawi.