UN chief calls on international community to support Iraq

UN chief Ban Ki-moon is calling on the international community to support Iraq and help its government alleviate the suffering of those impacted by the spiralling violence as Islamic State terrorists continue to overrun areas of northern Iraq.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 08, 2014, 14:26 PM IST

United Nations: UN chief Ban Ki-moon is calling on the international community to support Iraq and help its government alleviate the suffering of those impacted by the spiralling violence as Islamic State (ISIL) terrorists continue to overrun areas of northern Iraq.

"The Secretary-General is deeply appalled at today`s reports of attacks by the terrorist group Islamic State in Kirkuk, and Qaraqosh, and earlier attacks in Tal Afar and Sinjar district, affecting mainly the vulnerable communities of Christians, Turkomen, and Yezidis," Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson yesterday.
"Reports of Yezidis amassing along the Turkish border as well as thousands also trapped in the Sinjar Mountains in desperate need of humanitarian assistance are of urgent and grave concern," it added.

Ban welcomed the successful humanitarian airdrop that has taken place so far. He, however, expressed his "continuing and deep concern" for the safety of those civilians.

He called on the international community, "especially those with the influence and resources" to positively impact the situation, to support the Government and people of Iraq and to do all it can to help alleviate the suffering of the population affected by the current conflict in Iraq.

The UN Security Council condemned the attacks by ISIL and again expressed its "deep outrage" about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis - many of them from vulnerable minority communities, especially Yezidis and Christians - displaced by ISIL`s attacks and in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
"The members of the Security Council condemn in the strongest terms the systematic persecution of individuals from minority populations and those who refuse the extremist ideology of ISIL and associated armed groups," the 15-nation body said in a statement.

It said widespread or systematic attacks directed against any civilian populations because of their ethnic or political grounds and religion may constitute a crime against humanity, for which those responsible must be held accountable.

The Council further called on all political entities to overcome divisions and work together "in an inclusive and urgent political process" to strengthen Iraq`s national unity, sovereignty and independence. Iraq`s leaders were also called on to engage, "as quickly as possible", to form a Government that represents all segments of the Iraqi population.

Meanwhile, the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) in a statement expressed grave concern at the serious deterioration in the security and humanitarian situation in northern Iraq.

Over the last 48 hours, 200,000 civilians have fled the advance of ISIL, with at least 180,000 crossed into Dohuk district of the Kurdistan Region, UNAMI said.

The UN is coordinating humanitarian assistance for the latest influx of civilians displaced into the Kurdistan Region and is exploring all avenues to try to get supplies to those trapped in ISIL areas of control but resources are being stretched to the limit.