AP NEWS

UN envoy urges Iraq’s leaders to ‘rise to the moment’

December 3, 2019

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. envoy for Iraq said Tuesday its political leaders “must rise to the moment” to build a stable, inclusive and prosperous nation after unrest and upheaval have gripped the country this fall.

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert told the U.N. Security Council that Iraq “is at a crossroads.”

Iraq has been roiled by anti-government protests and a bloody crackdown since October. Nearly 400 people have been killed.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi announced his resignation Friday. His successor has not yet been chosen.

Hennis-Plasschaert said Iraq’s troubles can’t be resolved by “pursuing partisan interests, muddling through or brutally cracking down on peaceful protesters.”

Iraqi Ambassador Mohammed Bahr Aluloom said his country is taking steps on reforms in response to the demonstrations.

Hennis-Plasschaert said the measures are often seen as unrealistic or inadequate.