Iraq leaders urged to work towards inclusive peaceListen /
Leaders in Iraq have been urged by the UN Secretary-General to work towards national reconciliation as a means to defeat the terrorist group ISIL, also known as Daesh.
Ban Ki-moon was speaking to the press in Baghdad on Saturday, following a meeting with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other senior officials.
Mr Ban visited Iraq accompanied by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and the President of the Islamic Development Bank, Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani.
Dianne Penn reports.
The UN chief called national reconciliation "an important part" of the strategy to beat Daesh, which has taken large parts of Iraq as well as Syria.
The terrorist group has committed rapes and murder, destroyed religious and cultural monuments, and forced thousands of women from a religious minority community into sexual slavery.
“National reconciliation is an important part of the strategy to defeat Daesh, who have ruthlessly exploited divisions and targeted the marginalized and disenfranchised. Iraq's political, civil society, community and tribal leaders and representatives must work together towards inclusive peace and prosperity.”
The Secretary-General also expressed concern over other problems the nation is facing.
Some 10 million Iraqis require humanitarian aid while conflict has displaced more than three million citizens within the country.
He said these challenges can only be resolved by tackling the root causes of conflict and by ensuring justice and equality for all.
The UN Secretary-General also expressed his deepest condolences to the families who lost relatives in a terrorist attack at a football stadium in southern Iraq on Friday.
Ján Kubiš, UN representative in Iraq, has also strongly condemned the blast, which killed more than 25 people.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.