Wednesday, April 25, 2007

UN Report Underlines Iraqi Government Failure to Accurately Monitor Casualties

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) issued its tenth report today on the human rights situation in the country, covering the period 1 January to 31 March 2007. Some of the key findings are summarised below:
  • The Government of Iraq continued to face immense security challenges in the face of growing violence and armed opposition to its authority and the rapidly worsening humanitarian crisis.
  • The UN mission for Iraq said Iraqi authorities had failed to guarantee the basic rights of about 3,000 people they had detained in the Baghdad Security Plan operations.
  • The UN Assistance Mission in Iraq again called for access to Iraqi government files on civilian casualty figures which had been denied them. The Iraqi goverment withdrew access after the UN reported in January that 34,452 civilians were killed and more than 36,000 wounded in 2006. These figures were much higher than claimed by Iraqi government officials.
  • On 1 March, the Ministry of Interior announced that 1,646 civilians were killed in February, the majority of them in Baghdad. It was unclear on what basis these figures were compiled.
  • At the beginning of January, up to 50 or more unidentified bodies were being found on a daily basis in Baghdad alone, with scores more in areas such as Mosul and Suwayra.
  • During the reporting period, UNAMI continued to investigate several incidents involving the alleged killing of civilians in the context of military operations conducted by MNF forces. In one incident in al-Ramadi on 21 February, medical sources at al-Ramadi Hospital reported that 26 people had been killed, among them four women and children.
  • The report said four million Iraqis were at risk because of lack of food.
The full report can be accessed here