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Iraq requests end of UN assistance mission by 2025

May 28, 2024 at 11:46 am

Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani speaks during a press conference following a visit to the Najaf Governorate on 23 May, 2024 [QASSEM AL-KAABI/AFP via Getty Images]

Iraq has requested that a United Nations assistance mission set up after the 2003 US-led invasion of the country ceases its operations by the end of 2025, saying it is no longer needed because Iraq has made significant progress towards stability, Reuters reported.

The mission, known as UNAMI and headquartered in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, was set up with a wide mandate to help develop Iraqi institutions, support political dialogue and elections and promote human rights.

Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, who met with UNAMI chief Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert on Sunday, said Iraq wanted to deepen cooperation with other UN organisations but there was no longer a need for the political work of the UN assistance mission.

The mission’s head in Iraq often shuttles between top political, judicial and security officials in work that supporters see as important to preventing and resolving conflicts but critics have often described as interference.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Al-Sudani said: “Iraq has managed to take important steps in many fields, especially those that fall under UNAMI’s mandate.”

For her part, Plasschaert praised the important steps and promising initiatives taken by Iraq during the last 18 months, especially in the areas of service provision, infrastructure reconstruction, investment, plans to mitigate environmental impacts and reducing dependence on imported fuel.

Iraqi officials say the country has come a long way from the sectarian war after the US-led invasion and Daesh’s attempt to establish a caliphate, and that it no longer needs so much international help.

Some critics worry about the stability of the young democracy, given recurring conflict and the presence of many heavily armed military-political groups that have often battled on the streets, most recently in 2022.

READ: Iraq government officially requests end of UN mission in Baghdad