Annan concerned at reported expulsion of Arabs in northern Iraq

Annan concerned at reported expulsion of Arabs in northern Iraq

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United Nations Secretary-General expressed his concern today about reports of murder, looting and the forced expulsion of Arabs in northern Iraq and called on all parties to respect the fundamental human right to live free from intimidation and forced expulsion.

"The Secretary-General is concerned that unless the security vacuum that now exists is quickly addressed, there is a very real prospect of population displacement in Iraq," a UN spokesman said in a statement released in New York.

Referring to media reports and eyewitness accounts from Human Rights Watch indicating widespread intimidation and displacement in and around the city of Kirkuk and in other areas, the statement added: "The Secretary-General appeals to all concerned to respect fundamental human rights principles, including the right to live free from intimidation and forced expulsion."