Nearly 800 people were killed in Iraq during the month of May, the majority of them civilians, the United Nations mission in the country has confirmed, urging political leaders to form an inclusive government within the constitutionally mandated time frame and to find a sustainable solution to the situation in Anbar.
The UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) reported yesterday that at least 799 Iraqis have been killed and an estimated 1,409 people have been injured in May alone due to acts of terrorism and violence.
“I strongly deplore the sustained level of violence and terrorist acts that continues rocking the country,” said the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov.
At least 603 of the 799 people killed were civilians, and an additional 144 were civilian police.
The overall toll is higher than UN estimates, which do not include casualties from Anbar, where the Iraqi army has been fighting tribal groups. An estimated 195 people were killed there in May and an additional 499 injured, according to figures obtained by UNAMI from the Health Directorate in Anbar.
Briefing the Security Council in March, Mr. Mladenov, who is also the head of UNAMI, said the crisis in Anbar province posed the most serious challenge to the Government’s efforts to maintain the stability and security needed to build a democratic State.
Since the start of the year, more than 66,000 families were displaced by the fighting, and more families were displaced in the months prior by attacks carried out by Al-Qaida-linked militants.
“In all meetings, I have stressed that while the United Nations will support Iraq's fight against terrorism, the challenges facing the people of Iraq cannot be resolved without dialogue, and concessions,” Mr. Mladenov had told the Security Council.
“While a security response is necessary to tackle the threat of armed groups and terrorists, a range of strategies are needed to successfully address the conditions that enable terrorist activity,” he stated. “The protection and advancement of human rights, equality before the law and the inclusion of those who feel marginalized will become central in any political resolution in the future.”