Sunday, 04 December 2016 09:37

UNAMI Statement in Response to Criticism on Reporting Military Casualties

Baghdad, Iraq, 03 December 2016 – The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) has taken note of the statement issued by the War Media Cell of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command, critical of UNAMI’s reporting of military casualty figures that formed part of the Mission’s report on casualty figures for November, issued on 01 December 2016.

UNAMI acknowledges that the military figures were largely unverified.

In relation to military casualty figures reported by the Mission, owing to the fact that places where conflict is taking place, and where military casualties are likely to arise, are inaccessible and there are few reliable, independent sources available by which statistics can be verified, UNAMI has been relying on a variety of sources, including open sources, to compile military casualty statistics. Previous requests by the Mission to the relevant Government Ministries for verification of military casualty figures have not received a response.

As such the Mission shall discontinue the publication of military casualty figures unless a sound methodology of verification can be found to better substantiate the figures being reported.

As for civilian casualty figures, the figures published by the Mission are subjected to a rigorous methodology based on a range of sources, triangulation of sources and assessment of credibility, among other things. The Mission’s methodology is conservative, in that civilian casualty figures do not include many of the reports received by the Mission that do not meet verification criteria, and hence should be considered as minimums.

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNAMI

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