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Iraq: UN Strongly Condemns Violence In Mosul

Iraq: UN Envoy Strongly Condemns Killings Of Civilians And Violence In Mosul

New York, Oct 13 2008 12:10PM

The top United Nations envoy in the country today deplored the recent killing of civilians in Iraq and the spike in violence targeting Christian communities in the past few days, warning that “these acts are aimed to fuel tensions and exacerbate instability at a critical time.”

Yesterday, the UN provided some 102 displaced families fleeing violence in the northern city of Mosul with emergency assistance and another 400 are currently being aided in temporary shelters in adjacent neighbourhoods.

Many of these families had already escaped Baghdad over the past few years for the relative safety of Mosul, noted Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Staffan de Mistura.

“Respecting and guaranteeing the political rights of minorities in Iraq is fundamental to a stable and democratic future for the country,” Mr. de Mistura said in a statement issued by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

The current displacement comes at a very sensitive time, and against a backdrop of political tensions regarding the unresolved issue of minority representation in the provincial elections, slated to take place at the end of January 2009, according to the UNAMI statement.

UNAMI also announced today the completion of a four-day workshop for more than 20 Iraqi journalists on the theory and practice of election reporting in preparation for the upcoming provincial elections.

Conducted 80 kilometres east of Mosul in the city of Erbil, the training was part of the Election Coverage Network project, which aims to support the electoral process by providing Iraqis with fair, balanced and high quality election reporting.

The journalists, trained by UNAMI in partnership with Media in Cooperation and Transition, are expected to produce radio interviews, reports and analysis on election issues, which will be made available to a network of radio stations across the country, according to a press release issued by UNAMI.

ENDS

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