Iraq: UN envoy calls for immediate action to avert possible 'massacre' in northern town

Special Representative for Iraq Nickolay Mladenov. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

23 August 2014 – The United Nations envoy for Iraq called for immediate action today to prevent a possible massacre in the northern town of Amerli, besieged by Islamic State (IS) militants for two the past months, leaving its citizens are stranded without food or access to water supplies.

“The situation of the people in Amerli is desperate and demands immediate action to prevent the possible massacre of its citizens,” declared Special Representative Nickolay Mladenov, expressing serious alarm at reports regarding the “inhuman conditions” facing the town's residents.

In a press statement issued from Baghdad by the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq, which Mr. Mladenov heads, the envoy said the town is besieged by IS and reports confirm that people are surviving in desperate conditions.

“I urge the Iraqi Government to do all it can to relieve the siege and to ensure that the residents receive lifesaving humanitarian assistance or are evacuated in a dignified manner” he said, adding that Iraq's allies and the international community should work with the authorities to prevent a “human rights tragedy.”

Mr. Mladenov said the United Nations in Iraq will do all it can to support the country's Government and people in alleviating the “unspeakable suffering” of Amerli's inhabitants.

Reports of the desperate situation in Amerli come as elsewhere in the region the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) confirmed confirmed yesterday that a massive aid push for some 500,000 displaced Iraqis was going to plan, with a second airlift of aid to Erbil and more flights due today and tomorrow.

The operation began on Wednesday and a second flight landed in the Iraqi Kurdistan city of Erbil on Thursday with more tents. Also on Thursday, UNHCR loaded 16 containers of aid (kitchen sets, blankets and jerry cans) from warehouses in Dubai onto a ship due to sail to Bandar Abbas in Iran on today. From there it will be loaded onto trucks for Erbil.


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Iraq: UN refugee agency launches major humanitarian aid push for displaced people

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