Monday, June 30, 2014

Ban Ki-moon expresses "grave concern" over Iraq

Ban Ki-moon is the Secretary-General of the United Nations:

New York, 29 June 2014 - Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the situation in Iraq

The Secretary-General expresses his grave concern at the deepening crisis in Iraq and the rising number of civilian deaths and injuries, with over one million Iraqis having fled their homes due to the fighting.

The Secretary-General calls  on all parties to the conflict ensure that persecution of civilians based on their religion or ethnic background cease immediately. All parties to the conflict, whether armed groups, ISIL, local militias or Iraqi Security Forces, have the legal obligation and moral responsibility to do everything they can to avoid and prevent violence against civilians and ensure that their humanitarian needs are addressed.

The Secretary-General is deeply troubled by  persistent reports of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law taking place in Iraq, including summary execution of captured soldiers and detainees, indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, and the abduction and murder of members of ethnic and religious communities.

The Secretary-General also urges the Government of Iraq to hold accountable any members of the Iraqi Security Forces or local militias who may have committed violations of international humanitarian or human rights law.

The Secretary-General commends the work of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) as it continues to do its utmost to assist in the settlement of the current conflict in Iraq, to monitor and report on human rights violations, and to support national and international humanitarian partners in providing assistance to those in need.