UN chief urges Iraqi leaders to finish forming new government

UN chief urges Iraqi leaders to finish forming new government
# 06 April 2011 02:57 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Tuesday called on Iraqi leaders to finish the formation of their new government at an early date so that it can press ahead with crucial tasks, including boosting stability and tackling social and economic challenges in the Middle East country, APA reports quoting Xinhua News Agency.

Further steps need to be taken to complete the government formation process as soon as possible, including appointments to key security posts, despite the establishment of a "national partnership government" in Iraq in December 2010, Ban said in his latest report to the UN Security Council on the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). The report was released here Tuesday.

The "national partnership government," led by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, ended the nine-month political stalemate that followed elections held in March."The transition from one elected government to another was an historic accomplishment and brought an end to months of political uncertainty," Ban said.

"The early finalization of the Government formation process will enable Iraq’s leadership to take the measures required to address the legitimate concerns of the Iraqi people," he said. "As unfolding events have shown over the past few weeks, Iraq is not immune to the wave of civil unrest that has affected other parts of the region."

Meanwhile, the secretary-general also expressed his concern at the use of force by Iraq’s security forces in handling some of these protests and the consequent loss of life, as well as at reports of arbitrary arrests, detention and torture, and the ill- treatment of journalists and media personnel covering the events.

"I call on the government of Iraq to conduct an independent investigation into these alleged violations and to ensure a measured approach in dealing with future protests by exercising maximum restraint and avoiding violence," he said in the report.

The secretary-general also pledged continued UN support as the government addressed the major socio-economic challenges, noting that with the establishment of the new Government, UNAMI and the UN country team have stepped up their engagement with national counterparts.
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