World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Up to 10,000 from Iraq Christian communities flee violence

Up to 10,000 people from Christian communities flee violence in northern Iraq – UN

27 June 2014

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today that up to 10,000 people from predominately Christian communities in northern Iraq have fled their homes this week amid the ongoing violence in Mosul.

Those fleeing are from Qaraqosh – also known as Hamdaniya – a town of 50,000 people that is located 30 kilometres south-east of Mosul, where armed opposition groups seized control two weeks ago.

UNHCR said many of them have fled to Iraq’s Kurdistan region, which is already hosting an estimated 300,000 people from Mosul and the surrounding areas.

“They fled by bus, car and taxi into Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region on Wednesday night,” UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming told reporters in Geneva.

“Many are women and children staying with families, relatives and in schools and community centres, mostly in Erbil. They tell us they fled in a big rush, and didn't bring many belongings with them so that is a sign of how afraid they are.”

Asked if Christians who were fleeing the fighting had been directly targeted because of their religion, Ms. Fleming replied that people said they were fleeing pre-emptively in the latest displacement.

“Certainly there is a widespread fear among the Christian community in this area. But, in this particular case, there was no specific targeting but rather pre-emptive flight for fear what would happen next,” she stated.

UNHCR and its partners have distributed tents, mattresses and hygiene kits at schools and community centres in Erbil where the displaced families are currently sheltering.

Together with the Kurdish authorities and other humanitarian partners, UNHCR has helped to expand the Garmawa camp in Dohuk where more than 1,000 displaced people are now staying. More camps are being constructed in Kurdistan to accommodate the growing number of internally displaced families.

So far this year, an estimated 1.2 million Iraqis have been displaced by fighting, including from Anbar and Ninewa governorates, according to UNHCR.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news