Over 300,000 refugees from Mo­sul flee to Kur­dis­tan

KRG plans to build three camps near the en­try check­points of Er­bil and Duhok for the refugees

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

The Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment (KRG) as­sis­tant head of the Depart­ment of For­eign Re­la­tions, Din­dar Ze­bari, an­nounced in a press con­fer­ence that ap­prox­i­mately 300,000 refugees have ar­rived in the Iraqi Kur­dis­tan, with about 180,000 refugees in Duhok and 100,000 in Er­bil.

People from Mo­sul fled their homes af­ter fighters from the Is­lamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) took con­trol of the key points in the city in­clud­ing the gov­er­norate build­ing, the air­port and the po­lice sta­tions and fi­nally seized the whole city. ISIS fighters over­ran the Iraqi se­cu­rity forces in Mo­sul, cap­i­tal of the north­ern Nin­eveh prov­ince on 10 June, prompt­ing tens of thou­sands to leave their homes.

“We ask the in­ter­na­tional hu­man­i­tar­ian or­ga­ni­za­tions and the Iraqi govern­ment to pro­vide sup­port to the refugees since the Kur­dish Govern­ment is un­able to take this huge re­spon­si­bil­ity alone,” said Ze­bari.

Ze­bari also said that the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional govern­ment plans to build three camps near the en­try check­points of Er­bil and Duhok for the refugees.

Ob­servers from the hu­man­i­tar­ian or­ga­ni­za­tions and the KRG of­fi­cials think the num­ber of refugees is ex­pected to in­crease from 300,000 people to over one mil­lion in the next few days. The dis­puted ar­eas of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion are steadily be­ing flooded with refugees seek­ing to es­cape the dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion in their home­town.

In a state­ment is­sued on Tues­day, the Kur­dish Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani called on Kurds to help in­ter­nally dis­placed per­sons (IDPs) flee­ing Mo­sul.

Barzani an­nounced that as a re­sult of the vio- lence per­pe­trated by the Is­lamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) who are now con­trol­ling large parts of Mo­sul, a wave of IDPs is head­ing to the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion.

“Due to the fail­ure of the Iraqi se­cu­rity forces to pro­tect the people and the city, the mil­i­tant group now con­trols Mo­sul. This has caused wide­spread fear. The people of Mo­sul fear for their lives be­cause of the war and the lack of food and ser­vices. They are leav­ing their city in large groups,” read the state­ment.

Barzani made ref­er­ence to the failed re­la­tion­ship be­tween Er­bil and Bagh­dad as the rea­son be­hind the in­abil­ity to co­op­er­ate in pro­tect­ing Mo­sul, which has been un­der heavy fight­ing since Satur­day.

Barzani also called on Kurds and the UNHCR to sup­port the in­com­ing IDPs: “To sup­port the refugees from Mo­sul which in­cludes all eth­nic groups, Kurds, Arabs, Turk­men and Chris­tians, I call on all the Kurds to help them as much as pos­si­ble.”

Barzani said: “We en­sure the Kur­dish people who are liv­ing in ar­eas not un­der the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion ad­min­is­tra­tion that the se­cu­rity forces and the Pesh­marga are al­ways ready and fully pre­pared to pro­tect them."

Only two days af­ter Barzani’s state­ment, the UN refugee agency said on 12 June, that it was im­me­di­ately step­ping up its aid ef­forts in Iraq in re­sponse to the new mas­sive ex­o­dus from the city of Mo­sul and the sur­round­ing ar­eas. The UNHCR pro­tect­ing teams have been on the ground to mon­i­tor the out­flow and as­sist those in need. And to suc­ceed in their ef­forts ur­gent additional fund­ing is be­ing sought.

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