UN Iraq envoy concerned over civilians' safety in Fallujah

BAGHDAD, Jun 5 (KUNA) — The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq Jan Kubis has expressed concern about the reports of human rights violations against civilians fleeing the fighting in Falliujah.
In a statement on Sunday, Kubis urged the Iraqi government” to thoroughly investigate the reports, do its utmost to prevent such incidents from occurring, hold to account those found involved in such acts in a transparent manner.” He also appreciated instructions issued earlier today by Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi in that respect.
The UN official called on the Iraqi authorities screening civilians leaving the combat zone to ensure the process is conducted as expeditiously as possible and in full conformity with humanitarian principles under a centralized government structure that guarantees transparency, reliable tracking of those being detained and accountability of their figures and whereabouts to prevent abuses and assure their worried relatives.
“The people of Fallujah have suffered immensely under Daesh. Many of them are on the move, further risking their lives to escape the terrorist group and the fighting, and are desperately in need of safe shelter. They should not be subjected to further suffering and intimidation,” Kubis said.
He added that the “The battle of Fallujah is the battle of all Iraqis who want to see their future with all hers in Iraq free of Daesh (IS). This noble cause of ridding Fallujah of Daesh terrorists should not be allowed to be tarnished by violations of human rights and dignity of people, notably on sectarian grounds.” In addition, he urged Iraqi political leaders and commanders of all military and security forces to assume responsibility and stand united behind the liberation of Fallujah and deny Daesh the opportunity to use transgressions, notably on sectarian basis, for its own objectives.
Earlier today, a spokesman said that the Iraqi government would investigate allegations of abuses by the security forces in the course of the operation to retake the jihadist-held city of Fallujah..
Premier Al-Abadi has ordered the creation of a human rights committee to examine “any violation to the instructions on the protection of civilians”, spokesman Saad al-Hadithi said in a televised briefing.
He said Al-Abadi had issued “strict orders” for prosecutions to take place in the event of any abuses. (end) ahh.kns.msa