24 September 2009 Iraq’s President today called on the United Nations to establish an independent international commission to probe a series of deadly bombings and other terrorist attacks in the country since the start of last year that he said can only have been carried out with the help of external forces.
Jalal Talabani told the General Assembly’s annual high-level segment that the scope and nature of the crimes – including the so-called Bloody Wednesday explosions last month that killed around 100 people and targeted leading Government ministries in the capital, Baghdad – meant an outside investigation was necessary.
“The Iraqi Government finds itself obliged to resort to the United Nations to protect its people and stop the bleeding of innocent Iraqis,” he said, calling on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to appoint a senior official “to evaluate the extent of foreign intervention that threatens the security and integrity of Iraq.”
Once the commission has carried out its work, then a special international criminal court should be set up to try those accused of committing the crimes, he said.
Mr. Talabani said the bombings and attacks in 2008 and 2009 had “reached the level of genocide and crimes against humanity subject to punishment under international law.
“We believe these acts at this level of organization, complexity and magnitude cannot be planned, funded and implemented without support of external forces and parties and primary investigations indicate the involvement of external parties in the process.”
The Iraqi President also called on neighbouring countries and other States to cooperate more with Baghdad “to control Iraq’s borders, exchange information, coordinate efforts, and prevent the groups that support terrorism and work against Iraq under any cover.”
In his address Mr. Talabani also stated that Iraq has made important progress over the past 12 months, notably by taking greater responsibility for its own security and signing an agreement with the United States on the withdrawal of US troops.
The most important immediate challenge will be legislative polls scheduled to be held across Iraq in January 2010, he said.
“The success of these elections will put the current political regime based on democracy, pluralism and the peaceful transfer of power on the right path. The success of the elections will transfer the political process from the establishment stage to one of permanence and stability and will promote stability and security in Iraq.”
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