The United Nations team releases their most recent report on terrorist atrocities in Iraq.
On Monday, Christian Ritscher, leader of the UN Investigation Team for Holding Da’esh accountable for their crimes, presented a thorough evaluation to the Security Council ambassadors. The assessment revealed shocking instances of sexual violence committed by ISIL members during their rule. The report was released over the weekend.
The evaluation is based on a thorough analysis of a report that covers three years of committed field research. The report focuses on the production and utilization of chemical weapons by the extremist organization against the Shia Turkmen community in Taza Khurmatu, located in northern Iraq.
Mr. Ritscher stated that it is crucial to emphasize that these evaluations are distributed in accordance with our designated role and set guidelines.
During his presentation, Mr. Ritscher stated that when UNITAD’s mandate ends in September 2024, “the Team will not be able to produce conclusive results for all of the investigations it has started, but will only be able to provide preliminary findings.”
According to him, UNITAD will now focus on completing tasks within the given time frame and will be giving less priority to certain complex investigations, such as the ones involving ISIL’s actions in Mosul, their destruction of cultural sites, exploitation of natural resources, and their intent to commit genocide against the Shiite community.
Mr. Ritscher discussed the Team’s dedication to aiding Iraq in creating a legal framework for addressing international crimes. This includes working closely with Iraqi partners to draft legislation and giving technical feedback to ensure it is in line with global and traditional laws.
Additionally, he stressed the significance of properly handling evidence and highlighted that UNITAD has accumulated 39 terabytes of data in the past five years.
Mr. Ritscher stated that the data gathered for this study consists mostly of records obtained from Iraqi authorities, civil society organizations, and open sources. In addition, there are also statements and other materials collected from individuals in Iraq, particularly witnesses.
Future of UNITAD
During his briefing, the leader of UNITAD also discussed the future of the organization, stating that the decision to continue the mission lies with Iraq. He warned that an early and sudden termination would be detrimental for all parties involved.
He expressed the importance of the Government of Iraq and members of the Council considering the end state of our mandate rather than just the end date.
Mr. Ritscher stated his commitment to collaborating closely with all Iraqi counterparts in order to propose various choices and opportunities.
“Iraq will have the freedom to decide which option they want, and we will respect that decision. Although UNITAD was not intended to be permanent, it is our shared duty to safeguard the progress it has made from being undone,” he stated.