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

 


$1 Billion In Reparations For Iraq's Invasion Of Kuwait

UN Panel Pays Out Over $1 Billion in Reparations for Iraq's Invasion of Kuwait More>>

UN-Backed Tsunami Warning System Test

A view of the destruction caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004 in Point Pedro, a small fishing village in northern Sri Lanka. UN Photo/Evan Schneider More>>

Al Jazeera To Mark 300 Days Since Arrests Of Journalists

• 300 second montage to mark 300 days to be aired on Al Jazeera • Parents of Peter Greste say the past 300 days has been stressful Doha , 23 October, 2014 More>>

4 Months’ Jail For French Journos Should Be Enough

'We hope it will be a lesson for foreigners to not violate their visas in Indonesia.' More>>

Support Needed For Olive Farmers In Palestinian Territory

Olive trees in the Palestinian town of Ni'lin in 2008 were very close to expanding Israeli settlements. Photo: IRIN/Shabtai Gold More>>

ALSO:

Use Of Drones In Law Enforcement May Violate Human Rights

22 October 2014 – The increasing use of armed drones within domestic law enforcement risks depersonalizing the use of force and infringing upon the rights of individual citizens, a United Nations independent human rights expert warned today. More>>

Gaza: Pledges For Aid, Reconstruction Must Be Honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Security Council President for the month of October, María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, is at ... More>>

Ebola: UN Prepares For Arrival Of Trial Vaccines

In early October 2014, with the help of the US Navy, a new mobile laboratory opened at Island Clinic, one of the WHO-supported Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: WHO/R. Sørenson More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news