Any scaling down of international support in Iraq after the military defeat of ISIS would have “grave consequences” for the country and the world, the UN’s head of mission in Iraq told the Security Council on Thursday.
“Any abrupt scaling-down of engagement or support would mean repeating mistakes of the past – mistakes that have had grave consequences for stability and security, well beyond the borders of Iraq, even globally,” Jan Kubis warned, detailing that Iraq will need “continuous, substantial and sustainable support and assistance from the international community, including its regional partners.”
The lack of a plan for governance of the key city of Mosul has been a source of concern for Kurdish leaders.
“We wanted to have a plan even before the military action, and my president has said so in all meetings with the Iraqi or American delegations. But it did not happen,” Fuad Hussein, chief of staff to the Kurdish president, said in an interview with Rudaw English. “The Iraqi government did not want to, and the Americans were occupied with their elections.”
“So now we have no idea how to deal with the future. There is no plan.”
In his briefing to the Security Council, Kubis summarized what has been achieved in Iraq so far and the steps that will need to be taken in order to rebuild the country and relations between Iraqi citizens.
The first step to national reconciliation, he said, was the protection of civilians, avoiding sectarian tensions, and preventing revenge attacks in Mosul.
Rudaw reported on a revenge killing that had occurred in eastern Mosul in January, after an Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service soldier boasted of killing an ISIS fighter, after he had surrendered.
Kubis stressed the need for reconciliation in order to build “a new and truly unified Iraq in which all its people will feel as equal citizens, under fair treatment and the protection of the State.”
Steps to achieving reconciliation include “peaceful reintegration and interaction among all groups of the population in Ninawa governorate, including ethnic and religious minorities,” that comes about through effective governance, he added.
The UN mission in Iraq (UNAMI) is supporting grassroots initiatives towards “stabilization and community-based reconciliation efforts.”
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