U.N. says Mosul refugees suffering post-war psychological traumas

A displaced Iraqi man who fled from clashes, carries children in western Mosul, Iraq, June 3, 2017. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

Baghdad ( Thousands of Iraqi refugees displaced during their government’s war against Islamic State militants are suffering psychological ramifications despite the recapture of their city more than one month ago, the United Nations said.

Weeks after the retaking of Mosul city, many internally displaced persons (IDPs) are exhibiting signs of stress and anxiety,” the International Organization for Migration said in a report on Tuesday.

The organization said children, in particular, have suffered the severest aftershock, and would need “long-term psychological support”, as the report put it.

The organization, highlighting psychological support it provides to 24,399 internally displaced Iraqis since the start of Mosul crisis in 2016, said that “amongst the many children IOM works with, those from Mosul tend to display symptoms of developmental regression, exhibited by episodes of bed-wetting, severe anxiety, apathy and quickness to get angry or cry.”

The war against Islamic State in Iraq has displaced more than four million people since January 2014. A campaign launched in October 2016 to retake Mosul, Islamic State’s former capital in the country, had displaced more than 900.000, according to government and U.N figures.

Throughout their occupation of several Iraqi cities, Islamic State militants tortured, executed and enslaved thousands of Iraqis, using some as human shields and shooting others once attempting to flee their havens, according to the government, local and international agencies.

The Iraqi government said early July it retook Mosul from IS, and has said it would proceed towards other holdouts.

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