António Guterres Pledges UN Support to Iraqi Government

Oil wells set alight by ISIL are visible from the newly retaken Iraqi town of al-Hud, outside Mosul, where IOM distributed 350 non-food item kits to recently displaced families. UN Photo: IOM / Jennifer Sparks
Oil wells set alight by ISIL are visible from the newly retaken Iraqi town of al-Hud, outside Mosul, where IOM distributed 350 non-food item kits to recently displaced families. UN Photo: IOM / Jennifer Sparks

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres paid tribute Monday to Iraqi people and Government after Iraqi Government’s declaration that its forces have liberated the northern city of Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters.

Mr. Guterres also vowed United Nations’ support to aid the displaced communities and restore rule of law in the freed areas.

“The recovery of Mosul is a significant step in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism,” the Secretary-General said in a statement.

Mr. Guterres said the UN would stand by the Government as it creates the conditions for “voluntary, safe and dignified return” of the displaced communities, as well as to restore the rule of law, prevent a return to violence and foster accountability for all violations.

[ Trump Hails Liberation of Mosul from Islamic State Terrorists ]

In the statement, he also lauded the “courage, determination and perseverance” of the people and Government, and added condolences for the loss of lives and wishes for those injured.

Since the military campaign to retake Mosul began on 17 October 2016, some 920,000 civilians fled their homes, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

“It’s a relief to know that the military campaign in Mosul is ending. The fighting may be over, but the humanitarian crisis is not,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande.

Close to 700,000 people are still displaced, nearly half of whom are living in 19 emergency camps, she explained. They need shelter, food, health care, water, sanitation and emergency kits.

The UN has called for $985 million to aid humanitarian projects. So far, about 43 per cent has been received, leaving a gap of $562 million.

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