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News ID: 107450
Publish Date : 05 October 2022 - 21:23
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UNITED NATIONS (Xinhua/Middle East Eye) – UN special envoy for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, has called on Iraqi leaders to engage in dialogue to end political impasses in the country.
“It is time for Iraq’s leaders - all of them - to engage in dialogue, collectively define core Iraqi needs and pull the country back from the ledge. In other words, all leaders should assume responsibility and return the spotlight where it must be: on the people of Iraq,” the special envoy told the Security Council meeting on the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).
The absence of a functioning government in Iraq one year after elections were held is hard to justify, the top UN official in the country said, urging political leaders to put aside their differences for the common good.
Their protracted inaction has sparked protests and counter-protests, culminating in deadly clashes this past August, she said.
“These tragic developments are indisputably the result of the inability of Iraq’s political class to cast the die,” she added.
“In other words: actors across the spectrum failed to place the national interest first. They left the country in a prolonged impasse, further fueling already simmering anger.”
Basra has become the latest front in Iraq’s political crisis as followers of Muqtada al-Sadr have begun pressuring his opponents in the southern Iraqi oil hub to strip them of their economic resources.
Over recent weeks, there have been near-daily armed clashes between Sadrists and fighters of Asaib Ahl al-Haq, one of the most influential armed factions in Iraq and a staunch opponent of the cleric.
The clashes have killed at least four people, three of them Sadrists, local security sources told MEE.
Most attacks are launched by Sadrists, and have targeted the presidential palace complex, Asaib Ahl al-Haq’s headquarters and the homes of a number of its commanders.
The largest and most ferocious of these attacks took place at dawn on Tuesday and targeted the headquarters of the Hashd al-Sha’abi popular mobilization forces in the presidential palaces complex, which is located in central Basra.
It was preceded by another attack targeting a group of Asaib leaders in Karmat Ali, north of the city.
Both attacks were carried out with Katyusha rockets, mortars and automatic weapons. The clashes between the two parties, which lasted for several hours in both locations, killed two people, including a Sadrist, local security sources said.

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