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Iraq: Formation urged of govt to end violence

Iraq: UN envoy urges formation of national unity government to end violence

The top United Nations envoy in Iraq today called for the speediest possible formation of a government of national unity to prevent rising sectarian tensions from spiralling out of control after yesterday’s prolonged violence in the Adhamiya quarter of Baghdad.

In a statement issued by the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative Ashraf Qazi called on all religious, political and community leaders to ensure restraint by their followers and to refrain from sheltering those who have engaged in criminal behaviour.

“The incident (in Adhamiya) again underscored the importance of forming a government of national unity as quickly as possible,” the statement said. “The protracted negotiations between the political parties required a resolution at the earliest opportunity.”

Mr. Qazi noted that the UN is encouraging all those engaged in the political process to reach a fundamental understanding on how to bring about an environment in which rising sectarian tensions in Iraq could be tackled.

The incoming government will be faced with many complex and grave security challenges and it will need to give clear direction and leadership to meet and overcome them, he said.

Accordingly, the overriding priority at this moment is the early establishment of an effective government of national unity that addresses the desperate need for security, peace and employment opportunities for the people of Iraq, he concluded.

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