Iraqi and United Nations officers have marked the twentieth anniversary of a lethal assault on the UN headquarters in Baghdad
BAGHDAD — Iraqi and United Nations officers on Saturday marked the twentieth anniversary of a lethal assault on the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad.
The Aug. 19, 2003, truck bomb assault on the Canal Lodge in Baghdad, which housed the U.N. headquarters in Iraq on the time, killed 22 U.N. workers together with the top, Sergio Vieira de Mello, a rising U.N. star. It was the deadliest assault towards U.N. workers in its historical past.
The assault got here within the wake of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that toppled the dictator, Saddam Hussein, however unleashed an insurgency and years of brutal civil conflict within the nation.
On the commemoration ceremony held Saturday on the web site of the assault, which has since been transformed right into a rehabilitation middle for folks fighting habit, the top of the U.N. Help Mission for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, stated that the “wounds created by the 2003 assault – and the violence that got here after it – run deep” and “could by no means absolutely heal.”
However Hennis-Plasschaert pointed to latest beneficial properties in Iraq’s stability and makes an attempt by the present authorities to enhance social companies.
The previous 20 years have been “a really tough street,” she stated. “However all through these years, the United Nations has not given up on its efforts to contribute to peace and stability in Iraq.
Iraqi International Minister Fouad Hussein, talking on the occasion, referred to as the assault “one of the tragic incidents within the historical past of Iraq” and affirmed the nation’s dedication to combating terrorism. As for the U.N. employees who misplaced their lives, he stated, “their achievements will stay within the historical past of Iraq.”
A day earlier, on the U.N. headquarters in New York, officers held a silent commemoration and skim out the names of the victims.
President of the U.N. Common Meeting Csaba Kőrösi met briefly with a few of the survivors. In a press release, he hailed “humanitarian employees, who race to save lots of lives, and stay at disaster scenes lengthy after the worldwide highlight dims.”
Related Press author Edith Lederer in New York contributed to this report.