Humanitarian Situation in Mosul

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:51 pm on 12th July 2017.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for International Development 12:51 pm, 12th July 2017

I thank the hon. Lady for her generous comments and support for what has been achieved in Mosul. I absolutely agree that we should pay tribute to all the forces involved, and also to the people of Mosul, who have suffered considerably at the hands of Daesh.

The hon. Lady is right to point to Amnesty International’s report today, which makes allegations and raises concerns about the coalition—well, Iraqi—forces and human rights violations. It is important to stress that the security forces and the coalition have made every effort to protect civilians during operations. Now that we are hearing of alleged violations or abuses, it is quite right that they are thoroughly and transparently investigated, and those found responsible must be held to account. We also welcome the previous statement by Prime Minister Abadi on this and encourage reporting on the outcomes.

The hon. Lady raised the issue of the displacement of people. Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by what has happened in Mosul and in Iraq more broadly. The focus now has to be on resettlement and the reunification of the country as a whole.

The hon. Lady will have heard me speak briefly about the stabilisation efforts which, of course, have to be the focus right now. UK aid, and my Department in particular, are working with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence, others across Government and the international community not only to support UN stabilisation efforts in Iraq and secure the liberated areas, clearing areas of explosives and making them habitable again, but, importantly, to provide the basics to people by putting in water facilities, power networks, clinics and schools. We also know that 1.8 million people have been displaced in Iraq since 2015 and have returned to their homes when possible, so it is important to focus on resettlement and stabilisation, and how we can bring prosperity and stability back to Mosul and the outlying areas of Iraq.