Top UN envoy in Iraq calls on protesters to refrain from violenceListen /
Protesters in Iraq are being urged to refrain from violence. At the same time, the security forces are being urged to show restraint in maintaining law and order.
The call has come from the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), Martin Kobler, as hundreds of people held a rally in Basra in support of the government.
Tuesday's demonstration follows anti-government protests held in the western city of Ramadi and other parts of the country over the past two weeks.
UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky says UNAMI is closely following the course of the demonstrations in several governorates in Iraq.
"The Mission has reaffirmed its commitment to support the political and human rights of all Iraqi citizens, as well their social, cultural and economic rights, in the framework of the rule of law. Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq, called on the protesters to refrain from violence and to maintain the peaceful character of their demonstrations. He called on the security forces to show the utmost restraint in maintaining law and order."
Nesirky says the top United Nations envoy in Iraq is also urging all sides to engage without delay in a peaceful and constructive dialogue, in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution and Iraqi law.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.