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250 Thousand besieged in Mosul eating plants to stay alive

250 Thousand besieged in Mosul eating plants to stay alive

Eyewitness accounts from the right coast of Mosul displaced from areas that Iraqi Security Forces recentlyliberated, confirmed hundreds of cases of injured civilians and dehydration in children. Many died due to dehydration or famine from areas still under ISIS-control.

27 - 4 - 2017


The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights (IOHR) stated that 250 thousand civilians in the city of Mosul are collecting and eating plants in an attempt to overcome the famine they have been suffering for months.

Eyewitness accounts from the right coast of Mosul displaced from areas that Iraqi Security Forces recentlyliberated, confirmed hundreds of cases of injured civilians and dehydration in children. Many died due to dehydration or famine from areas still under ISIS-control.

Near the ‘Hassan Sham’ camp, a 60 year-old woman, stated to the IOHR monitoring network on 23 April: "Words and promises cannot take away the hunger of my grandchildren who remain in Mosul, we ate everything we could find just to survive".

IOHR stated: "The residents of areas still under ISIS control are not only threatened by the danger of ISIS, nor by indiscriminate bombardment, but also by hunger, which may cause the death of dozens of civilians".

Walid (30 yrs), who only gave his first name, lives in Jad'aa camp. He explained how he spent an entire day looking for a little bit of flour to bake bread for his niece, whose father was executed by ISIS a month ago. He found only a small amount enough to prepare one piece of bread.

 He stated to IOHR in an interview on April 25: "Everyone is going hungry. I do not even know how my neighbor gave me a cup of flour at a time when people were looking for anything to eat. It was very generous of him in a time of deadly siege".

 A medical source stated: "Unconfirmed numbers indicate that hundreds of people within ISIS-controlled areas are unable to move due to the famine they have suffered for months.” He added: “Hundreds of children who have been displaced with their families suffer from dehydration and malnutrition, some of them are in critical condition".

 Raad Omar, who now lives with his relatives on the left coast of Mosul, was displaced from Al Tanak area. He said: "My 11-month-old daughter had only milk for six months, and since the beginning of military operations and the siege imposed by ISIS, her mother is no longer able to breastfeed her, and our daughter is now suffering from dehydration".

 On 26 April, IOHR contacted a civilian under siege in the Zanjili area by telephone. During the 50- second interview, he told IOHR: "The plants in our garden have run out and there is nothing left to eat, we will resort to drinking salt water. We don't even have old bread loaves".

 A relief worker at a local organization providing emergency assistance to displaced people in areas south of Mosul said, "In recent weeks, when food started to run out and it was clear that no aid would be delivered to the people in the right coast, residents began to eat one meal a day to keep the quantities they had for as long as possible."

 He added: "I do not know what they are eating now, but some of those who have been displaced said they ate even rotten dates and scraps of flour not suitable for human consumption."

 IOHR stated: "250 thousand civilians live in real siege imposed by ISIS, who will not hesitate for a moment to kill them all".

 The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights (IOHR) calls on the Iraqi Government and international organizations to open safe air corridors to airdrop milk and food for children and families in the right coast of Mosul, to prevent the escalating death toll due to famine.

 IOHR calls on the local government in Nineveh province to put more pressure on the Federal Government in Baghdad and the United Nations agencies operating in Iraq, to find a solution to stop the humanitarian catastrophe in the right coast of Mosul, affecting all residents, particularly children.

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