Category: Iraq

UN humanitarian chief urges: ‘prevent entire generation from being lost in Syria.’

Some 13.4 million Syrians throughout the beleaguered country are in need of assistance, the UN humanitarian office said on Saturday, calling for “greater access and expanded funding”, to better help them.

Concluding a seven-day visit to Syria, Lebanon and Turkey, in his first official mission in the region since assuming the function of UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths stressed that “the UN needs to be able to reach people who depend on its aid both from Turkey and from within Syria”.

Humanitarians and donors must keep Syria high on our collective agenda to prevent an entire generation being lost”, Martin Griffiths underscored.

During meetings with the Syrian Foreign Minister and his deputy, Mr. Griffiths emphasised the need to expand humanitarian access, protect civilians and help Syrians envision a future for themselves.

So far, the United Nations and its partners have received only 27 per cent of the funding needed for its 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan for Syria, which seeks $4.2 billion.

And the $5.8 billion Regional Refugee & Resilience Plan aims to help over 5.5 million Syrian refugees and host communities in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey is only 19 per cent funded, according UN News.

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UN chief underlines commitment to justice for Iraq’s Yazidi community.

Secretary-General António Guterres has urged the Iraqi authorities to swiftly implement a new law to assist Yazidi survivors of ISIL atrocities, the UN said on Tuesday in a statement marking seven years since the extremist group brutally targeted the religious minority and other communities. 

The Yazidi Survivors Law, adopted in March, recognizes ISIL’s violations against women and girls, and requires the government to compensate them. 

“On this somber anniversary, the United Nations remains fully committed to supporting all efforts to achieve accountability and justice,” said Stéphane Dujarric, the UN Spokesperson

ISIL, also known as Daesh, conducted a genocidal campaign against the Yazidis, who live in northern Iraq

Thousands were subjected to unimaginable violence on account of their identity, including sexual violence, mass executions, forced conversions and other crimes.  Many remain in displacement camps or are still missing.  

“These heinous acts committed by ISIL may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Full accountability of their perpetrators remains essential,” said Mr. Dujarric

Supporting the Iraqi Government’s efforts to ensure accountability and protect human rights remains a UN priority, he added, in accordance with the collective responsibility to protect communities from the most serious crimes under international law. 

“Recognizing the pain and courage of the Yazidis, recovery and rehabilitation remain a priority,” said Mr. Dujarric. 

The Secretary-General therefore commends the recent enactment of the Yazidi Survivors Law by the Government of Iraq and its recognition of the crimes committed by ISIL against the Yazidis and other communities. 

He encourages it`s swift and full implementation”, according UN News.

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A bomb attack on eve of Eid al-Adha in Iraq, ‘terrorism knows no bounds’.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres strongly condemned the “horrific bomb attack targeting civilians” at a busy market in the north-east of the Iraqi capital Al-Sadr City, just before the Eid al-Adha holiday.

Eid al-Adha ‘Festival of the Sacrifice’) is the latter of the two official holidays celebrated within Islam.

Eid al-Adha honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ishmael (in Judaism, Isaac) as an act of obedience to God’s command.

In a statement issued on Monday night, Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said that the UN chief called the deadly attack in Baghdad’s Al-Sadr City “a reminder to us all that the scourge of terrorism knows no bounds”. 

At least 30 people were killed and dozens of others wounded when a bomb exploded in the Iraqi capital, according to security sources. 

The device exploded in the Al-Wuhailat market as families prepared for the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha on Tuesday. 

Mr. Guterres extended his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, the Government and people of Iraq and wished the injured a speedy recovery. 

“The Secretary-General underlines the need for the perpetrators of this crime to be swiftly brought to justice”, the statement read. 

According UN News the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also lamented the deaths, which included children, and the injuries sustained by those in the blast. 

“This horrific attack right before Eid Al-Adha is a terrible reminder of the violence Iraqi children continue to face”, said the UNICEF Representative in the country, Sheema Sen Gupta. 

“Those children were just preparing for the special days to come with their families”, she added.  

The UN official reminded that children should be protected at all times and grow in a safe environment free from any form of violence. 

“On the eve of Eid Al-Adha and as Iraqis mourn this sad moment, UNICEF calls for all actors in Iraq to work together towards a safer Iraq where children do not have to live in fear and where they enjoy their very basic activities and rights”, she concluded. 

News sources called it the deadliest bombing in Baghdad in six months and reported that the IS terrorist network claimed to be behind the blast, saying one of its members detonated an explosive vest. 

Although the Government declared victory in its war against the jihadist group at the end of 2017, so called “sleeper cells” continue to wage a low-level insurgency in the country. 

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Terrorists become increasingly ‘innovative’, in a world shaken by COVID-19 according UN counter-terrorism chief

Despite “significant progress” in the fight against terrorism, the UN counter-terrorism chief warned on Wednesday that amidst new and more diverse threats, COVID-19 has triggered increased activity throughout many countries.

Vladimir Voronkov, head of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (OCT), concluded the Second High-level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism, by summing up four of the strategic challenges facing the world today. 

He underscored the need for “inclusive, forward-looking, evidence-based approaches to build resilience”, in the face of the ISIL legacy in Iraq and Syria; terrorist threats in Africa; tackling transnational risks sparked by various forms of intolerance; and the need to upgrade technology and know-how to counter the scourge. 

Terrorism in 2021 during COVID-19

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