UN chief deeply concerned about rising violence in Iraq

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Aftermath of a bombing attack in Iraq: photo – IRIN

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed deep concern about the upsurge of violence throughout Iraq that has left many dead and injured hundreds over the past week.

In a statement issued late Tuesday, the Secretary-General calls on the Iraqi Security Forces to exert utmost restraint in maintaining law and order.

He is also urging the demonstrators to preserve the peaceful nature of their protests.

At the same time, Secretary-General Ban welcomes the successful meeting between the representatives of the demonstrators, local officials and the Iraqi Security Forces which has defused tension in Ramadi, in the Anbar Governorate.

But he's also concerned about the recent decision of the Iraqi authorities to withdraw licences from several television channels in the country.

Mr. Ban is urging the authorities to reconsider their decision, and recalls that freedom of the press is a fundamental pillar of democracy.

The Secretary-General urges all Iraqi leaders to come together and engage in constructive and inclusive dialogue with the firm determination of overcoming the deep political crisis the country is facing.

He reiterates the commitment of the United Nations, including the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), to support and assist the Government and people of Iraq in building a peaceful, democratic and prosperous country.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’16″

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