UN envoy urges Iraq’s leaders to ‘rise to the moment’

The U.N. envoy for Iraq says its political leaders “must rise to the moment” to build a stable, inclusive and prosperous nation after the unrest and upheaval that has gripped Iraq this fall

Iraq has been roiled by anti-government protests and a bloody crackdown since October. Nearly 400 people have been killed.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi announced his resignation Friday. His successor has not yet been chosen.

Hennis-Plasschaert said Iraq’s troubles can’t be resolved by “pursuing partisan interests, muddling through or brutally cracking down on peaceful protesters.”

Iraqi Ambassador Mohammed Bahr Aluloom said his country is taking steps on reforms in response to the demonstrations.

Hennis-Plasschaert said the measures are often seen as unrealistic or inadequate.