June 11th, 2014 16:26 EST
UN Condemns Kidnapping of Turkish Diplomats in Mosul
Ban Ki-moon today condemned in the strongest possible terms " the kidnapping of Turkish diplomats in the Iraqi city of Mosul, while the United Nations humanitarian arm reported that thousands of families have fled the area amid rising violence.
Islamic insurgents seized Iraq`s second largest city on Tuesday following days of fighting against Iraqi Government forces. As many as 500,000 people have reportedly fled Mosul in the wake of the violence, and today, terrorists kidnapped the Consul General of Turkey and several consulate staff working in the city.
This is totally unacceptable, " Mr. Ban said, as he addressed an event at UN Headquarters related to terrorism. As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I am condemning in the strongest possible terms such a terrorist attack against diplomatic officers.
No such terrorist attack against diplomatic officers and civilians can be justified under any circumstances, under any reason, " he stated.
I`m urging the Government of Iraq and broadly the regional countries and the whole international community to be united to bring all these perpetrators to justice and to do all possible to have these diplomatic officers released safe and sound as soon as possible. "
The comments come a day after Mr. Ban voiced grave concern about the serious deterioration " of security in Mosul, and condemned the recent spate of terrorist attacks that have left scores of dead and wounded in Iraq`s northern and eastern provinces.
On the humanitarian front, Iraqi authorities have informed the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that thousands of families have fled Mosul to safe areas surrounding the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Also, more than 2,500 families remain displaced inside Mosul, mostly living in schools and mosques.
An estimated 100,000 displaced people have entered Erbil, where UNHCR is mobilizing tents and distributing other essential relief items, according to a UN spokesperson. The UN Children`s Fund (UNICEF) and partners are providing water and sanitation support in the area. Another 200,000 people have fled to Dohuk, where UN agencies and their partners are preparing to deliver food, water and shelter.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that the new wave of displacement from Mosul exacerbates an already severe displacement crisis in the area. Since January of this year, hundreds of thousands people have been displaced by months of unrest in Anbar province. Donor funding has been extremely limited, with only 10 per cent of the required $103 million needed to aid displaced families having been received to date.
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