Baghdad, Iraq -26 January 2017
Local EU statement
on the liberation of eastern Mosul
Baghdad, Iraq – 26 January 2017 – The European Union Delegation to Iraq issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Iraq:
The PM's announcement that Iraq's security forces have achieved the liberation of eastern Mosul represents an important milestone in the long journey to liberate those oppressed by Da'esh.
The EU stands by the Iraqis at this critical time, and commends the courage and sacrifices of all Iraqis, in particular those actively taking part in the fight against Da'esh. We mourn the loss of civilians and military personnel killed or wounded in that fight. Throughout the operation to liberate eastern Mosul, the unprecedented unified action of the security forces with the support of Coalition forces has been laudable.
We praise in particular the continued commitment of those forces to protect civilians and respect their dignity and human rights, throughout this campaign. At the same time, in the event of any allegations of wrongdoing, we call upon the Government of Iraq to investigate such allegations to assure that human rights and international law are fully respected.
We now call upon those involved in the continued military operations in western Mosul, to continue to follow the lead of the Prime Minister and to ensure the protection of civilians and the respect for their rights. Further, we call upon the Government to facilitate humanitarian access to all civilians in all conflict areas and civilians' access to safety, through the establishment of safe evacuation routes.
Immediate priorities after the liberation of the eastern part of the City must be to ensure security for all, restore the delivery of basic services and bring critical infrastructure back into operation. As the lead providers of humanitarian and stabilisation assistance in Iraq, the EU and its Member States will continue in 2017 to make every effort to provide humanitarian assistance to those residing in eastern Mosul and to facilitate the return home of all those displaced by fighting in the east as soon as possible. We will continue to support those Iraqi citizens still trapped in western Mosul who will remain or may be forced to flee as a result of the fighting to come.
We recognise and commend the importance Iraq places on the need for reconciliation and reforms to bring lasting peace and prosperity to the region. We are working closely with the Government of Iraq and political forces on the national reconciliation strategy striving towards unity and social cohesion in the country.