More Than 10,000 Iraqis Have Fled Mosul Area
The International Organization for Migration says more than 10,000 Iraqis have been displaced since the start of an operation to retake the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State militants.
The offensive, which involves Iraqi government troops, Kurdish fighters, Sunni tribesman and Shi'ite militias, began last week and has so far involved capturing town and villages surrounding Iraq's second largest city.
The United Nations warned last week that as many as 200,000 people could be displaced in the initial weeks of the fight for Mosul, and that humanitarian groups would initially be able to handle about 70,000 people in need of aid.
Iraq's displacement and migration ministry said Wednesday the number of displaced was increasing, and that on Tuesday there was a "big wave" of 3,300 people in what was considered the largest number of people fleeing since the Mosul operation began.
The United Nations said Tuesday it had preliminary reports of extrajudicial killings and summary executions by Islamic State fighters around Mosul, including the militants using civilians as human shields.
Gambia Withdraws From International Criminal Court
Gambia accused the International Criminal Court of ignoring “war crimes” Tuesday as it withdrew from the institution Tuesday, following in the footsteps of South Africa and Burundi, which withdrew from the court earlier this month.
Gambia’s Information Minister Sheriff Bojang accused the court system of being racist and unfairly targeting Africans for prosecution.
All but one of the 10 investigations launched so-far by the ICC have taken place in African countries, leading some in Gambia to believe it was ignoring crimes in other countries.
"There are many Western countries, at least 30, that have committed heinous war crimes against independent sovereign states and their citizens since the creation of the ICC and not a single Western war criminal has been indicted," the Gambian government said in a statement.
Earlier this week, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh asked the court to investigate African migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea. In its statement, Gambia said it asked the court to bring charges against the European Union over the migrant deaths, but received no response.