UNITED NATIONS- Iraq’s violent insurgency has claimed some 2,400 lives where more than half were civilians.
The staggering number of civilian casualties in one month highlights the urgent need for all to ensure that civilians are protected, declared Mr. Bans Special Representative for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov. As head of UN Assistant Mission (UNAMI), he urged officials to start forming a new government which could unite the country. He expressed his regret that Iraq’s newly-elected Council was unable to reach an agreement on naming a new Speaker. Mladenov said Iraq also requires a solution based on political and social processes that will address the concerns of all communities. The fighting has internally displaced an estimated one million people who add to the one million already seeking refuge in Iraq due to the Syrian conflict and previous conflicts. The bulk of them have fled to the autonomous Kurdish region, where UN agencies are overstretching resources to provide support. The Government of Saudi Arabia has donated $ 500 million towards the humanitarian effort. Ban thanked the leadership of King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz and added that the timely funding would enable the UN and its partners to assist millions of Iraqi civilians whose lives were torn apart by the conflict. The growing crisis is also augmenting the violence in Iraq. The UNAMI human rights group claimed that more than 2,417 Iraqis were killed in June and another 2,287 injured by acts of terrorism and violence. In addition to the civilians, at least 886 members of the Iraqi Security Forces were killed.