The top United Nations envoy to Iraq today strongly condemned a car bombing in the south-eastern town of Nasiriyah which claimed dozens of lives and left scores of others wounded.
The attack, which killed over 35 people, is “a cruel crime against innocent civilians that aims to derail Iraq’s stability,” according to Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative.
He also extended the UN’s condolences to the families of those killed and sent his wishes for the speedy recovery of those who were wounded in the attack.
In a report to the Security Council on Iraq made public earlier this week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the successful and mostly peaceful polls earlier this year and an agreement on a new Speaker of Parliament are among the “encouraging signs of progress” Iraq has witnessed in recent months.
Following the January provincial elections, “we witnessed local democratic processes at work with the formation of political alliances to allow the selection of governors and their deputies in each of the 14 governorates that held elections,” Mr. Ban said, expressing hope that “this will serve to promote greater accountability in local governance institutions.”
Additionally, the Iraqi Security Forces continued to show they can assume stepped up security responsibilities, he noted. “Those developments underscore a general positive trend in the country on both the political and security fronts,” the report said.
However, it warned that many obstacles remain, with national reconciliation still the main priority for the country. “In particular, the resolution of key issues, including federalism, the sharing of natural resources and disputed internal boundaries, could serve as a means to achieving lasting peace,” the Secretary-General wrote.