Friday, October 20, 2017

UN voices concern over "destruction", "forced displacement" in disputed areas in Iraq

forced displacement
The UN Mission in Iraq is concerned about reports about the destruction and looting of homes, business and political offices, as well as the forced displacement of predominantly Kurds from disputed areas, said a UN spokesman on Thursday.

The United Nations has received allegations of armed groups burning some 150 houses in Tuz Khurmatu, a city that lies 90 km south of Kirkuk, on Monday and Tuesday, as well as allegations that houses which reportedly belonged to Kurdish families and officials of Kurdish political parties were destroyed by explosives, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told a briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.

The United Nations takes note of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's acknowledgement of incidents caused by what he described as extremist elements from both sides and his decision to send the Iraqi army to restore order in Tuz Khurmatu, as well as the calls by the political and security leaderships of the country requesting federal and local security forces to ensure and act in full respect for law and order and protect civilians and political leaders, he said.

"The UN urges the government of Iraq to take every action to halt any violations and ensure that all civilians are protected and that the perpetrators of acts of violence, intimidation and forced displacement of civilians be brought to justice."

UN humanitarian workers allege that more than 100,000 people are currently displaced [?!] from Kirkuk following the Iraqi military advances since the beginning of the week. Another 40,000 people who had left the area have since returned, said Dujarric. 

Aid workers are monitoring the situation in northern Iraq closely and are mobilizing assistance to newly displaced people, he said.


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