The top United Nations envoy in Iraq has strongly condemned a series of recent attacks and appealed to all parties to work together toward peace, in his final message to the people of the country in which he has served since 2011.
In the latest wave of violence to strike the capital, Baghdad, at least 30 people have reportedly been killed in a series of car bombings on Saturday. The attacks came at the end of the day-long fast Muslims are observing during the month of Ramadan.
Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), condemned “in the strongest terms” these attacks as well as other violent acts that have killed and injured hundreds of innocent people.
“These criminal acts targeting Muslims praying in mosques or gathering after breaking their fast are senseless. The holy month of Ramadan should be a time for spirituality and forgiveness, instead of increasing violence and division,” he stated.
“I am deeply saddened that my last words as the SRSG for Iraq have to be linked to violence and criminal acts,” he added. “I call on all Iraqis not to let violence prevail and to work together toward peace and dialogue, the only sustainable solution.”
Last week, in his final briefing to the Security Council as the UN envoy for Iraq, Mr. Kobler noted an “alarming” scale of renewed violence in the country during the latest four months, with nearly 3,000 people killed and over 7,000 more wounded.
He added that Iraq’s transition towards democracy and prosperity is in a crucial phase, and warned that with violence spiking, perpetrators are taking advantage of the instability caused by the ongoing political stalemate and the crisis in neighbouring Syria.
Mr. Kobler, a German national, will soon take up his new post as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and head of the UN peacekeeping mission there.