13 people killed in al-Hol camp in 2022: UN aid chief

"So far in 2022, 13 murders and four attempted murders have been reported in that camp."
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths (Photo: Violaine Martin/UN)
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths (Photo: Violaine Martin/UN)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Insecurity and attacks continue in Syria's northeastern al-Hol camp, United Nations aid chief Martin Griffiths told a briefing to the UN Security Council on Friday. 

"So far in 2022, 13 murders and four attempted murders have been reported in that camp," he said. 

"An incident on 10 May targeted an international NGO centre. As a result, all activities in Phase 5 are suspended – Phase 5 of our security arrangements – until the safety and security to humanitarian workers can be ensured," he added.

The Norwegian Refugee Council and other NGOs operating in al-Hol's fifth section suspended their activities in the camp after attackers stormed the NRC office on May 10. 

Murders have also continued in the al-Hol camp this month, with at least four civilians killed.

Read More: One woman killed by suspected ISIS members in Syria's al-Hol camp

"As we said before, and as I said before and so many have, the situation in Al Hol is a disgrace for the 56,000 civilians living there, the vast majority of whom are women and children," Griffiths said.

"In fact, nearly 10,000 children and their mothers in the north-east are detained in prisons and prison-like camps," he added. 

Most of al-Hol's residents are Iraqis and Syrians. However, the camp also houses many foreign families thought to have ISIS links. 

"Children should not be detained based solely on alleged association with armed groups. They should be released into suitable care," the UN official said.

"We call once again on all member states involved to take urgent action and fulfill their responsibility to repatriate their citizens through all available routes," he added.

"People living in Al Hol, and the humanitarian partners serving them, desperately need an approach to safety and security that maintains the civilian character of the camp and give them a horizon of future beyond the camp," he concluded.