Religious minorities need protection in Iraq, say UN special advisers

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Displaced woman from Iraq. (UNifeed – video capture)

Religious and other minorities in Iraq are particularly vulnerable to attacks by terrorists and armed groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

That concern has been expressed by two United Nations special advisers as the security situation continues to deteriorate in the country.

The Special Advisers to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, and on the Responsibility to Protect, Jennifer Welsh, have condemned attacks against civilians in the country.

In a joint statement issued on Thursday, they noted that Christians were fleeing the northern city of Mosul en masse following the ISIL-led invasion.

The Special Advisers said the reported capture of the town of Tal Afar in north-western Iraq, raises concerns about the well-being of Yazidis and other religious minorities living in the area.

They called on Iraqi political, military, religious and community leaders "to abandon strategies of violence and confrontation" and to ensure respect for diversity.

Sophie Outhwaite, United Nations

Duration: 1’10″

 

 

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