According to reports, as many as 200,000 civilians, most of them from the Yezidi community, have fled to Jabal Sinjar. The humanitarian situation of these civilians is reported as dire, and they are in urgent need of basic items including food, water and medicine. An unknown number of civilians are also reported to have moved towards Dahuk and Zako in the Kurdistan Region.
The United Nations has grave concerns for the physical safety of these civilians – particularly those now trapped in Jabal Sinjar area, as it is now surrounded by ISIL militants.
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Nickolay Mladenov, stated “A humanitarian tragedy is unfolding in Sinjar. The Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government should urgently restore their security cooperation in dealing with the crisis. I call on all Iraqi authorities, civil society and international partners to work with the United Nations to ensure the delivery of life saving humanitarian assistance”. “I also call on the Kurdistan Regional Government to ensure that those civilians fleeing the violence are facilitated entry to the Kurdistan Region in order to receive protection and humanitarian assistance,” he added.
Upon his request, this morning Deputy SRSG Gyorgy Busztin met His Excellency President Fuad Ma’soum who shared his grave concern over the situation of minorities impacted by the ISIL takeover of significant areas in the Ninewah plain. He called it the collective responsibility of all Iraqis to assist the displaced. The President expressed particular concern over the fate of the minority Yezidi community.
The United Nations reiterates that international law imposes obligations on all parties to the present conflict to ensure the protection of civilians and their access to humanitarian assistance.