News / Middle East

UN: Iraqi Crisis Needs Political Solution

A woman, who fled from violence in Mosul, carries a baby in a camp edging Irbil in Iraq's Kurdistan region June 25, 2014.
A woman, who fled from violence in Mosul, carries a baby in a camp edging Irbil in Iraq's Kurdistan region June 25, 2014.
Margaret Besheer

The United Nations’ envoy in Iraq said it will take decisive action by the country’s political leadership to address a "grave" situation that has left at least 900 civilians dead and more than 1 million displaced.    

Nickolay Mladenov, the secretary-general’s representative in Iraq, on Wednesday called for "the political process" to supplement military action in settling the conflict between Islamic militants and the Iraqi government’s security forces.

The armed group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, controls large areas of mainly Sunni provinces including Ninevah, Salahuddin, Diyala and some parts of Anbar. Several important northern cities have also fallen to its fighters.

People displaced by violence in IraqPeople displaced by violence in Iraq
People displaced by violence in Iraq
People displaced by violence in Iraq

The conflict "cannot be resolved only through military means," Mladenov said. "It can be resolved, however, through the political process. That includes sticking to the constitutional timetable here in Iraq" and electing a new president, speaker and government.

Mladenov added that Iraqis also "obviously need a security operation to deal with the security threat that ISIL poses."

Speaking from Baghdad, Mladenov said ISIL, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is implementing strict Islamic law in areas it controls.

With its gains in the north, the group has become more bold, setting its eye on the prize of the capital. But Mladenov said the advance toward Baghdad has stalled.

"At this point, the city is well-saturated with Iraqi security forces,” Mladenov said of the capital. "I would not want to speculate as to whether it can or cannot be taken over. However, I believe that for anyone to attempt to take over Baghdad would be an extremely difficult enterprise."

Mladenov said since June 5, at least 900 civilians have been killed and 650 wounded in fighting in Ninevah, Salahuddin and Diyala provinces.

The chaos caused by ISIL’s advance has displaced more than 1 million people, causing a humanitarian crisis that the U.N. is having difficulty managing because of a severe shortage of funding.

The U.N. mission in Iraq (UNAMI) is focused on keeping the political process alive and urging that it be inclusive as it tackles the humanitarian challenges.

You May Like

800-Pound Man Determined to Slim Down

Man says he was kicked out of hospital for ordering pizza; wants to be an actor More

Australia Prepares to Resettle 12,000 Syrian Refugees

Preference will be given to refugees from persecuted minorities, and the first group is expected to arrive before late December More

S. African Miners Seek Class Action Suit Against Gold Mines

The estimated 100,000 say say they contracted the lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis in the mines More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: George Baker from: St Petersburg, FL
June 27, 2014 9:35 AM
In my opinion, it boils down to ignorance for the most part. You must first solve the conflict to enable quality to begin to take root in these nations. Fueling the benefits of a quality life in a non-quality country (leadership) could repeat this process over and over. If the leadership does not see the value of their own citizens and their citizens can not diplomatically or through due process be heard; then the building blocks of maturity will never seed.

by: eusebio manuel vestias from: Portugal
June 26, 2014 2:07 PM
yes the crisis in Iraq needs political solution and the international community has an obligation to patronize the political solution

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs