New York

22 August 2014

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on sectarian violence in Iraq

The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms the reported attack on a mosque in Diyala Province, said to have killed dozens of Sunni worshippers.  Attacks on places of worship are completely unacceptable and are prohibited under international law.  The Secretary-General calls on all Iraqi authorities to ensure that the attack is properly investigated and its perpetrators held to account.

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the impact such acts of sectarian violence will have on the already grave security situation and on the political process aimed at establishing a unified government capable of confronting the threat to Iraq posed by ISIL.  He urges all political leaders to unite and call on their constituents to refrain from sectarianism and to give the political process a chance. Sectarian attacks and counter-attacks only serve the enemies of Iraq.

The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the families of the victims.