The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President María Cristina Perceval (Argentina):
The members of the Security Council condemned the kidnappings and murders of scores of Sunni tribesmen in Anbar Province, perpetrated by the terrorist organization operating under the name “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL), whose bodies were discovered in mass graves. Many of these tribesmen had been combating terrorism, together with the Government of Iraq. This crime, like the Camp Speicher massacre in Tikrit, once again demonstrated ISIL’s brutality, clearly showing that terrorist groups in Iraq target all segments and sects of the Iraqi population.
The members of the Security Council expressed again their deep outrage about all Iraqis as well as nationals of other States who have been killed, kidnapped, raped or tortured by ISIL, as well as its recruitment and use of children. The members of the Security Council stressed the need that those who have committed or are otherwise responsible for violations of international humanitarian law or violations or abuses of human rights in Iraq must be held accountable, noting that some of these acts may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. The members of the Security Council also called upon the Government of Iraq and the international community to work towards ensuring that all perpetrators are brought to justice. The members of the Security Council urged the international community, in accordance with international law, to further strengthen and expand support for the Government of Iraq, including Iraqi Security Forces, in the fight against ISIL and associated armed groups.
The members of the Security Council stressed that ISIL must be defeated and that the intolerance, violence and hatred it espouses must be stamped out. The members of the Council further emphasized that there has to be a common effort among Governments and institutions, including those in the region most affected, to counter ISIL, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida, as set out in United Nations Security Council resolutions 2161 (2014), 2170 (2014) and 2178 (2014).
The members of the Security Council welcomed the appointments of the Defence and Interior Ministers and the swearing in of the Kurdish Ministers, which completed the formation of an inclusive Government that represents all segments of the Iraqi population and that contributes to finding a viable and sustainable solution to the country’s current challenges. The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.
The members of the Security Council condemned the systematic persecution of individuals from minority populations, such as Yazidis and Christians, and those who refuse its extremist ideology in Iraq by ISIL and associated armed groups. The members of the Security Council reiterated that widespread or systematic attacks directed against any civilian populations may constitute a crime against humanity, for which those responsible must be held accountable. All parties, including ISIL and associated armed groups, must abide by international humanitarian law, including the obligation to protect the civilian population. The members of the Security Council also urged all parties to stop human rights violations and abuses, ensure humanitarian access and facilitate the delivery of assistance to those fleeing violence.