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Condemning latest violence, UN chief urges leaders to pull Iraq 'back from the brink'

The aftermath of a bombing attack in Iraq (file photo).
The aftermath of a bombing attack in Iraq (file photo).

Condemning latest violence, UN chief urges leaders to pull Iraq 'back from the brink'

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced alarm at the deterioration of the security situation in Iraq, where deadly attacks are becoming “all too commonplace”, and appealed to political leaders to take urgent action to stem the violence and bring the perpetrators to justice.

“He condemns in the strongest terms the acts of terrorism and the heightened sectarian violence, which are aimed at ripping apart the country's social fabric,” Mr. Ban's spokesperson said in a statement.

The reported killing today of at least 50 people in a wave of car bombings in predominantly Shiite areas is just the latest occurrence of the kind of heinous violence which is becoming all too commonplace, the statement added.

Mr. Ban extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and the Government of Iraq and wished the wounded a speedy recovery. He also urged the Iraqi authorities to bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice.

“Iraq is at another crossroads,” said the statement. “Its political leaders have a clear responsibility to bring the country back from the brink, and to leave no space to those who seek to exploit the political stalemate through violence and terror.

“The Secretary-General urges Iraqi political leaders to address the legitimate grievances of all Iraqi communities by entering into a serious dialogue with a spirit of compromise, and by passing overdue legislation without further delay. The United Nations stands ready to assist the Government and people of Iraq in overcoming the crisis.”

The UN envoy in Iraq has also called on political leaders to take immediate and decisive action to end the “senseless bloodshed” that has gripped the country.

“I am deeply concerned about the heightened level of violence, which carries the danger that the country falls back into sectarian strife,” the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Gyorgy Busztin, said in a news release.

“Iraq is bleeding from random violence, which sadly reached record heights during the holy month of Ramadan,” noted Mr. Busztin, who serves with the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).