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UN envoy warns that Iraq faces major challenges after Mosul

Iraqi civilians flee their homes on March 13, 2017 during fighting between Iraqi security forces and Islamic State militants, on the western side of Mosul, Iraq.

FELIPE DANA/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: July 17, 2017

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. envoy for Iraq is warning that the road ahead is "extremely challenging" following the liberation of Mosul, stressing that freeing other territory controlled by Islamic State extremists won't be easy.

Jan Kubis told the Security Council on Monday that instituting the rule of law and promoting development will also be crucial.

He said "the government will have to do everything possible to give the people back their lives in security and dignity" in order to turn the military victory in Iraq's second-largest city into stability.

The Kurdistan Regional Government is holding a referendum on Sept. 25 on independence for the region. Kubis urged it to quickly start negotiations with the Iraqi government on critical issues including oil and revenue sharing and the status of disputed territories.

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