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Condemning recent violence, rule of law in Iraq

Condemning recent violence, UN's Iraq envoy says rule of law must prevail

12 January 2006 – Secretary-General Kofi Annan's senior envoy to Iraq today decried recent bloodshed in the country and called on its people to demand that their leaders focus on protecting civilians and fostering a lawful society.

Condemning “the upsurge in violence since the elections that has claimed the lives of so many Iraqi citizens and maimed dozens more, notably in Baghdad and Kerbala,” Ashraf Jehangir Qazi said attacks appeared calculated to provoke further inter-communal strife.

In a statement released in Baghdad, he commended the calls of spiritual and community leaders for restraint and voiced full support for ordinary Iraqis who were increasingly vocal in demanding an end to the violence.

Mr. Qazi urged the citizens of Iraq to demand their political leaders to acknowledge the over-riding importance of respect for human dignity, the protection of civilians, the rule of law and its enforcement by the security forces.

“The future of Iraq depends on a fundamental respect for human rights,” Mr. Qazi said. “Those involved in shaping Iraq's political future had shown during the election that they could ensure a period of calm and restraint. It is just as important that the formation of a new government proceed in an atmosphere free of intimidation,” he added.

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