The current situation in Iraq is "much worse" than civil war, the outgoing
United Nations secretary-general said in an interview with BBC broadcast
Calling the situation "extremely dangerous," Kofi Annan said that the
international community must help the country to rebuild because he is uncertain
Iraq can accomplish it on its own.
"Given the level of violence, the level of killing and bitterness and the way
that forces are arranged against each other, a few years ago, when we had the
strife in Lebanon and other places, we called that a civil war; this is much
worse," Annan said.
Last week, when asked by reporters if Iraq was in civil war, Annan whose
second five-year term as secretary-general ends December 31 said "almost."
"I think given the developments on the ground, unless something is done
drastically and urgently to arrest the deteriorating situation, we could be
there. In fact we are almost there," he said last week.
During the interview with the BBC world service, Annan agreed when it was
suggested that some Iraqis believe life is worse now than it was under Saddam
"I think they are right in the sense of the average Iraqi's life," Annan
said. "If I were an average Iraqi, obviously I would make the same comparison,
that they had a dictator who was brutal but they had their streets, they could
go out, their kids could go to school and come back home without a mother or
father worrying, 'Am I going to see my child again?'
"And the Iraqi Government has not been able to bring the violence under
control. The society needs security and a secure environment for it to get on
without security not much can be done not recovery or reconstruction."
US helicopter down
One Marine was killed and three servicemen were missing after a US helicopter
with 16 people on board made an emergency landing on water in western Iraq on
Sunday, the US military said yesterday.
It said the Ch-46 twin-rotor Sea Knight, the Marine version of the Chinook,
was carrying 16 personnel including the crew when it came down in the volatile
Anbar province, heartland of the Sunni insurgency in Iraq.
Residents of Haditha, 250 kilometres northwest of Baghdad, said it came down
in a lake, which had been sealed off by US forces.
"Thirteen passengers were accounted for yesterday. During search and rescue
operations, one Marine was recovered from the water, but attempts to resuscitate
him were unsuccessful," the military said in a statement.
It said three servicemen were still missing.
"The incident does not appear to be a result of enemy action and is currently
under investigation," it said.
(China Daily 12/05/2006 page7)