Sunday, 17 July 2016 21:52

UN Representative in Iraq says Progress against Daesh Shows Iraqis Capable of Defeating the Terrorists, Urges More International Humanitarian Support

Baghdad, 17 July 2016 – The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Ján Kubiš, briefed the UN Security Council on Friday 15 July 2016 on the situation in Iraq, striking an optimistic note that Iraqis are capable of defeating the terrorist Daesh and urging political planning for the post-Daesh period.

In the periodic statement to the Council, the SRSG outlined the current political, military, security, humanitarian and human rights developments in the country.

“The recent strategic victories against ISIL in Fallujah and Qayyarah and progress in cutting off ISIL (Daesh) forces in Hawija have once again proved that Iraqis are capable of defeating Daesh with the support of international community,” he said.

The SRSG added that such progress against Daesh has put the liberation of Mosul strongly on the agenda. He cautioned that shortcomings in the Fallujah operation should be avoided in Mosul.

“Together with planning the military aspects, the government and the local actors need to accelerate political planning for ‘the day after’ the liberation, addressing the issues of governance, law and order and political management of Mosul and the rest of Ninewah,” Mr. Kubiš said.

In the Fallujah operation, the government gave an unprecedented priority to protection of lives and dignity of civilians, he said, adding that 90,000 civilians have taken the decision to leave the city. But he pointed to troublesome developments, with the United Nations receiving “credible reports of human rights violations and crimes, including torture and killings, disappearances and other allegations of mistreatment of those detained, committed by elements of the Popular Mobilization Forces and the Iraqi security forces operating in the Fallujah area, notably during the initial phases of the operation.”

He noted that the United Nations has registered statements supporting claims that 95 men remain unaccounted for after they were intercepted by forces affiliated to PMF while leaving their homes in Al Sejar area on 25 May, while another 643 men, including boys, remain missing since 5 June after they were intercepted by PMF-affiliated forces while leaving Saqlawiyah.

Mr. Kubiš called on the authorities to hold accountable any individual who may have been responsible for any violations that have been committed. “Lessons from Fallujah shall be taken into account when planning liberation of Mosul,” the SRSG said.

The SRSG underscored the dramatic humanitarian situation since the start of the military operation for Fallujah, where close to 100,000 people have been displaced. Nationwide, more than 10 million Iraqis require some form of humanitarian assistance, including 3.4 million people who have been displaced since the rise of ISIL in 2014. Only 38 percent of the humanitarian appeal of US$861 million requested for 2016 has been funded and the humanitarian effort for the Mosul liberation campaign could cost as much as US$1 billion, he added.

“The world must recognize that Iraq requires more, not less international support at this critical juncture,” Mr. Kubiš said. While the pledging conference organized in support of Iraq in Washington on 20 July is a sign of the international community’s continued commitment for a stable and peaceful Iraq and its recognition of the sacrifices Iraq and its people bear in fighting terrorist Daesh, he said, Iraqis must implement substantive, in particular economic, institutional and anti-corruption reforms that will put their country on the road to recovery and improve the lives of Iraqis.

The SRSG said the Daesh continues to be a strong enemy, executing bombings in civilian areas, but has failed to re-ignite sectarian confrontations.

“Providing and guaranteeing law and order and security to all citizens of Iraq are top responsibilities of the respective state organs and institutions and must remain their prerogative. With the progress in fighting Daesh, reforming Iraqi security institutions and ensuring that the state has full control of all armed groups becomes a priority.”

Mr. Kubiš stressed the need for Iraqi political and community leaders, in particular the Council of Representatives, to prioritise reconciliation based on a single vision and coordinated approach which remains a matter of considerable urgency to ensure that the post-Daesh phase be more stable, secure and prosperous. “Sustainable peace and security can be achieved only with a historic compromise that will put an end to the divisive policies of intolerance, inequality and of political and social injustice.”

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  • Agency: UNAMI

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