Iraqi leaders must immediately stop violence and protect civilians – UN envoy

Special Representative Martin Kobler. UN Photo/Bikem Ekberzade

28 May 2013 – The top United Nations official in Iraq today urged the country’s leaders to stop the bloodshed that has in recent weeks killed and injured dozens of innocent civilians.

“I once again urge all Iraqi leaders to do everything possible to protect Iraqi civilians,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Martin Kobler. “It is their responsibility to stop the bloodshed now.”

According to media reports, more than 50 people were killed in a wave of car bombings in several crowded commercial areas of Baghdad on Monday, despite tightened security measures. The latest attacks follow two bombings near a Sunni mosque north of Baghdad which killed at least 43 people and wounded more than 80 less than two weeks ago.

Mr. Kobler has repeatedly called on Iraqi authorities to take decisive measures to stop the escalating violence. Earlier this month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged all Iraqis to come together and engage in inclusive dialogue to overcome the “deep political crisis” facing the country.

“It is the politicians’ responsibility to act immediately and to engage in dialogue to resolve the political impasse and not let terrorists benefit from their political differences,” Mr. Kobler said.

“We will continue to remind the leaders of Iraq that the country will slide into a dangerous unknown if they do not take immediate action.”


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