Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Kurdistan

KRG warns of humanitarian crisis as people flee insecurity in disputed areas

By Rudaw 21/10/2017
Families from Kirkuk fleeing to Sulaimani this week. Photo: Rudaw
Families from Kirkuk fleeing to Sulaimani this week. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is warning of the possibility of a humanitarian crisis if confrontations and insecurity escalate in the disputed areas, causing more people to flee their homes. 

“So far, one hundred sixty-eight thousand and three hundred seventy-two (168,372) civilians have been displaced from Kirkuk, Khanaqin, Khurmatu, Zummar, and Rabea to Kurdistan Region,” read a statement from the Ministry of Interior on Saturday.

Iraqi forces, including the Hashd al-Shaabi, have taken over control of disputed areas in Kirkuk, Diyala, and Nineveh provinces this week, including Kirkuk, Khanaqin, Tuz Khurmatu, Makhmour, Zummar, and Shingal.

The KRG reported that 84,000 civilians fled to Erbil, 78,372 fled to Sulaimani and 6,000 arrived in Duhok and Zakho from Rabea and Zummar.

While a majority of the displaced was staying with family, friends, and host communities, a large number was sheltering in unfinished buildings, public places, and camps.

The government and international partners are distributing urgent items and working to provide secure shelter, but emergency humanitarian assistance is needed, including food, water, clothes, blankets, and medical aid, the KRG stated.

Erbil’s governor Nawzad Hadi said displaced people from Kirkuk, Tuz Khurmatu, and Pirde have largely been helped by locals as well as the Barzani Charity Foundation, the Rwanga Organization, and the Red Cross (ICRC). He said they have called on UN agencies to also become involved.

“Regarding the IDPs, we do not have camps to shelter them in, but it is the people of Erbil embracing them and voluntarily giving them their houses and motels and other facilities,” he said.

“What is our duty now is to find spaces for these displaced people,” Hadi said. They do not have plans to set up camps because they hope problems will be resolved soon, particularly in light of the US Department of State’s recent call for cessation of hostilities.

They are challenged to care for the many who have been displaced, the governor said, because of ongoing financial woes.

The government is worried that many more may flee because of “indiscriminate violence, torture, looting, burning civilians’ homes and properties, especially the Kurdish people in these areas,” by the Iraqi and Hashd al-Shaabi forces, the KRG stated. 

The United Nations and Human Rights Watch have reported civilian deaths, looting, arson, and forced displacements, mainly of Kurds, in Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu.

The UN had reported that many displaced on Monday, in the first day of confrontations, were already returning home by Tuesday. Subsequent waves of civilians have fled, however, as fears of insecurity remain. 

“The situation remains volatile, and many people are returning to their homes only to flee for a second or third time when hostilities erupt again,” said Lise Grande, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, on Saturday.

The takeover of the disputed areas is part of a series of measures taken by the central Iraqi government as it seeks to exert federal authority in the Kurdistan Region and Kurdistani areas after the September 25 referendum that saw 92.7 percent of people voting for independence, despite Iraqi opposition. 

 

Updated at 11:00 pm

Comments

 
FAUthman | 22/10/2017
The solution for the disputed territories may be this: bring in a UN peacekeeping force to secure the territories, resettle the population then implement article 140 of the constitution. These UN peacekeeping missions are all over the Middle East and Africa and few elsewhere, over twenty worldwide. All you need is one more for Kurdistani disputed territories of Iraq. This transition from Iraqi to UN control in these territories can occur in few months and the people who fled after the Kirkuk offensive would be back in their homes.

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

pre-Boomer Marine brat | 4/22/2018 6:01:09 PM
As in the Thirties, the knee-jerk American response to serious internal strife is to pull back into the turtle shell of isolationism. It does not...
US has critical role to play in post-war Syria: Macron
| 8 hours ago | (1)
Richard | 4/22/2018 3:36:45 PM
If the readers of Rudaw are aware of the payments then I am pretty sure that the Iraqi PM is also aware ;-) This MP sounds like she is a spokesperson...
Renas | 4/22/2018 5:08:39 PM
As long as you are economically dependent of other you will not be free. Kurdistan should be able to even produce its own weapon, but you are asking...
US aid for Peshmerga encourages rebellion: Iraq MP
| 14 hours ago | (7)
Joe | 4/22/2018 2:46:49 PM
Wonder land, banana republic...it really makes me laugh with a big question mark hovering over my head, how and for how long will the international...
Hassan | 4/22/2018 4:17:21 PM
Netherlands, Austria, Germany and Belgium should identify every Erdogan snake and send them to their master. How do these countries actually endure...
Turkey accuses Austria, Holland of ‘poisoning democratic values’
| yesterday at 12:02 | (10)
Sharid amiri | 4/22/2018 3:27:20 PM
As an american with kurdish ancestary, I support an independent Kurdistan south, north, east and west. God bless the United States and the kurdish...
Joe | 4/22/2018 3:33:59 PM
The muslim kurds have to realize that they are merely wood for fire to be used by the natinals around them, when turkey was on a verge to colapse...
‘Failed referendum’ was detrimental to Kurdistan: Komal leader
| yesterday at 11:25 | (8)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

German delegation meets KRG PM, welcomes closer ties 5 hours ago |

German delegation meets KRG PM, welcomes closer ties

Germany provided the KRG with military and more
3 Peshmerga freed from 96-day ISIS captivity by PUK counterterrorism units 7 hours ago |

3 Peshmerga freed from 96-day ISIS captivity by PUK counterterrorism units

The captives were kept blindfolded for 96 days more
US has critical role to play in post-war Syria: Macron 8 hours ago | (1)

US has critical role to play in post-war Syria: Macron

“I will advocate for militarism in front of the more
0.532 seconds