UN envoy calls for dialogue to find solution to Iraq's protests

2019-10-30 02:39:02 GMT2019-10-30 10:39:02(Beijing Time) Xinhua English
A protester is seen during a protest at Tahrir square in Baghdad, Iraq, on Oct. 29, 2019. The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert on Tuesday called for holding national dialogue to resolve the ongoing anti-government protests in Iraq. (Xinhua/Khalil Dawood)  A protester is seen during a protest at Tahrir square in Baghdad, Iraq, on Oct. 29, 2019. The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert on Tuesday called for holding national dialogue to resolve the ongoing anti-government protests in Iraq. (Xinhua/Khalil Dawood)

The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert on Tuesday called for holding national dialogue to resolve the ongoing anti-government protests in Iraq.

Hennis-Plasschaert, quoted by a statement issued by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), condemned the rising toll in the violent protests, citing that "violence is never the answer, the protection of life is the overriding imperative."

She said that the protests across Iraq, particularly in Karbala, are alarming as witness reports indicated that "live fire was used against demonstrators, causing high numbers of casualties."

Hennis-Plasschaert, also head of the UNAMI, said "a national dialogue is urgently needed to find prompt, meaningful responses."

"This vicious cycle of violence must end," she said, adding that the UN stands with the Iraqi people and is ready to assist in this dialogue.

Earlier in the day, Iraqi authorities said that scores of protesters and security members were wounded in the central city of Karbala during anti-government protests over unemployment, corruption and lack of public services.

One person was killed 193 others, including 143 security personnel and 50 protesters, were wounded in the overnight protests in Karbala, the Iraqi Independent High Commission for Human Rights said in a statement.

Earlier the month, massive protests erupted in the capital Baghdad and central and southern provinces for similar reasons.

The Iraqi government has responded by presenting packages of reforms aimed at providing job opportunities, building housing complexes, paying stipends to the poor and scaling up the fight against corruption.

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