UN Relief Side Estimates Displaced Iraqis At 9,000

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that almost 9,000 people are internally displaced as a result of the Mosul military operation in Iraq, a UN spokesman told reporters here Tuesday.

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Kurdish Peshmerga forces ride on military vehicles on the southeast of Mosul, Iraq, August 14, 2016. (Reuters photo)
Kurdish Peshmerga forces ride on military vehicles on the southeast of Mosul, Iraq, August 14, 2016. (Reuters photo)

“The majority of displaced people so far are sheltering in host communities,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here. “All families who have fled the fighting are reported to be in a vulnerable condition and requiring assistance.”

“The UN is concerned over reports of displaced families being forcibly evicted in Kirkuk Governorate, following an attack on Kirkuk by Da’esh on 21-22 October,” the spokesman said, referring to the terrorist group also known as the Islamic State (IS) or ISIL. “The UN has received reports that displaced families living in private quarters in Kirkuk were forcibly evicted.”

“Humanitarian partners are concerned for the safety of civilians in Rutba in west-Anbar, close to the Jordanian border,” he said. “Military operations in the area continue, following an attack by ISIL militants over the weekend, and the area is not accessible for humanitarian partners due to insecurity.”

“The number of civilian casualties is unknown and no displacement or movement from the area has been reported so far,” Dujarric said.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights continues to receive reports of extrajudicial killings and summary executions by Da’esh, among other crimes, against civilians, including children and women, as Iraqi government forces close in on Mosul, he said.

“The Human Rights Office also continues to receive information that reinforces the belief that Da’esh is deliberately using civilians as human shields,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Office also repeated its call on government forces and their allies to ensure their fighters do not take revenge on any of the civilians who escape from areas under Da’esh control and treat all suspected Da’esh fighters they capture in accordance with international humanitarian law, he said. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Iraq has stepped up its response and delivered reproductive health services to women and girls in Iraq, he said.

Since the start of military operations to liberate Mosul from Da’esh on Oct. 17, UNFPA provided more than 1,000 reproductive health consultations, while six internally displaced women have also delivered babies in the UNFPA-supported Primary Health Centre in Qayyarah.

“That facility is the only child-birth facility in Qayyarah,” he said.

Iraqi security forces recaptured more villages last Tuesday from the IS militants, as part of a major offensive aimed at liberating the city of Mosul, the last major IS stronghold in Iraq, a security source said.

Mosul, some 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, has been under IS control since June 2014, when Iraqi government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, enabling IS militants to take control of parts of Iraq’s northern and western regions. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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