Thursday, December 21, 2006


Al-Jaafari denies civil war, welcomes Baathists

Politics, Security
Former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari attributed the upsurge in violence in the country to activities by what he said were ‘mafia groups’ bent to destabilize the government. Jaafari denied the country was in a state of civil war or on the brink of a whole-scale sectarian strife. “Simply there are mafia groups which are behind most of the violence,” he said. He said the current political rhetoric was void of references to sectarian differences because the authorities “are using patriotism as a basis for distinction.”
However, the Iraqi government itself is built on sectarian grounds with sects, religious denominations and ethnic minorities currently using their positions to steer ministries and armed forces to their advantage. Jaafari’s bloc, the Dawaa Party, is part of the ruling coalition led by Shiite factions in partnership with Kurdish groups. “Iraq cannot coexist with sectarianism which permits the shedding of innocent Iraqi blood,” he said.
He said he was hopeful Iraqis will eventually resolve their differences through the reconciliation meetings the government is holding currently. Jaafari said former Baathists were welcome to take part in reconciliation talks. However, he said there was no place for what he described as “Saddamists”. He did not elaborate. The former premier said neighboring countries should stop meddling in Iraqi affairs. “Their (interference) is exacerbating the problem,” he added. However, he said Iraq needed its neighbors and it was essential for the government to establish good relations. Jaafari said the presence of militias was a threat to stability and they should be disbanded.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?