UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Recent victories in Fallujah and Qayyarah show that the Iraqis are capable of defeating the Islamic State group but the country must consolidate control of armed groups and promote political reconciliation in order to achieve lasting peace and stability, a United Nations official said Friday.
Jan Kubis, the U.N.'s envoy for Iraq, told the Security Council that recent progress against IS puts the liberation of Mosul high on the agenda and that means local officials must accelerate planning for what happens "the day after."
"With the progress in fighting Daesh, reforming Iraqi security institutions and ensuring the state has full control of all armed groups becomes a priority," he said.
Kubis added that despite the IS defeat in Fallujah, the group remains capable of carrying out devastating attacks throughout Iraq and is increasingly resorting to brutal insurgency tactics to compensate for the loss of territory.
The humanitarian situation in Iraq has further deteriorated since the Fallujah operation, Kubis said, with the 640,000 displaced persons in the Anbar province alone and more than 10 million Iraqis requiring some form of humanitarian assistance.
He said an eventual operation to liberate Mosul could provoke the largest and most sensitive humanitarian crisis in the world in 2016 and could require as much as an additional $1 billion in aid.
Currently, the appeal for $861 million in humanitarian aid for Iraq is only 38 percent funded without more money prospects for stability and reconciliation in a post-IS Iraq are put at risk.
Japan's Ambassador Koro Bessho, who holds the rotating Security Council presidency for July, said council members were generally supportive of Kubis' report.
"I felt the Security Council was unified in our support for the Iraqi government for its fight against terrorism. Support was also voiced for better efforts to achieve better national reconciliation and many urged the international community to contribute further for Iraq, it's stabilization and improved humanitarian situation," Bessho said, following the session which was closed following Kubis' statement.