Some 10,000 People Fleeing West Mosul (Iraq)… Every Day


Human Wrongs Watch

Citing Iraqi Government figures, the United Nations migration agency on 26 May 2017 warned that the number of people fleeing West Mosul is soaring – on 18 May, hitting a peak when some 16,100 transited through the Hamam al-Alil screening site – the largest official daily movement of people since the October 2016 military offence began.

Displaced children in Hammam al-Aleel Camp, among some of the thousands continuing to flee Mosul, Iraq. Photo: IOM/Hala Jaber

“The fact that huge numbers of Iraqis continue to flee West Mosul, despite the dangers involved, is a testament of both the the dire situation inside, and the enormous task ahead of us to alleviate the suffering of IDPs [internally displaced persons],” said the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Iraq Chief of Mission, Thomas Lothar Weiss.

According to the military and camp management at Hamam al-Alil, an average of 10,000 individuals fleeing West Mosul arrives at the transit zone on a daily basis.

With gruelling high temperatures during the day, most leave at night, walking several hours before reaching the nearest military checkpoints. From there, they are transported to Hamam al-Alil, south of Mosul, on the western banks of the Euphrates, which has become the transit hub for the tens of thousands of families fleeing the West Mosul conflict.

The camp adjacent to the site is at full capacity, and many families are being moved to other camps, with large numbers opting to go to areas east of Mosul where they stay with families, friends or in rental accommodations, says IOM.

According to the Iraqi Government, cumulatively, more than 742,000 people have been displaced from Mosul and its surrounding areas since 2016, when the military offense to oust extremists began, including 566,000 individuals from Western Mosul since mid-February. More than 73,000 Iraqis were displaced last week alone.

IOM pointed out that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) terrorist group have entrapped an estimated 200,000 people in Mosul’s Old City.

As of 23 May, IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix has tracked and located more than 377,000 individuals – some 63,000 families – currently sheltering in camps and emergency sites, including people living in host communities, informal sites and rented homes.

Nearly 85,000 children are still trapped as a result of the offensive to retake Mosul, and water supplies in the camps for the displaced are “stretched to the limits,” according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as of 20 May, some 12,500 people have been transferred from frontline areas to hospitals for trauma injuries treatment, including 6,369 people from West Mosul alone.

The IOM Iraq Chief of Mission said that in cooperation with its humanitarian partners and the Government of Iraq, IOM will “continue to provide comprehensive humanitarian assistance and lifesaving support to IDPs to the full extent of our resources.” (SOURCE: UN).

2017 Human Wrongs Watch

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