Thursday, September 06, 2007
(UPI) -- A top Iraqi security official disagrees with allegations Basra’s political leadership’s militia has infiltrated the Basra Oil Protection Force. Issa Jaffar Jabir, director general of the Ministry of National Security Affairs, said at an Iraq energy conference there is no proof militias have infiltrated the force at the behest of the government in Basra.
Jabir, at the Iraq Oil, Gas, Petrochemical and Electricity Summit organized by the London-based Iraq Development Program, told reporters the “accusations” were “not fair.” The Fadhila Party is currently in control of Basra, Iraq’s oil capital, where most of Iraq’s 115 billion barrels of oil reserves are and nearly all the 1.6 million barrels per day are exported.
Since winning government in provincial elections the governor, Mohammed Waili, has been accused of stacking key leadership roles with his party members, including the police and the Oil Protection Force, which guards the oil infrastructure.“It’s true that the governor of Basra belongs to this party, but we cannot accuse an Iraqi official randomly,” Jabir said. He admitted some political parties, not just Fadhila, have been able to “penetrate” ministries of interior and defense, the security apparatus and facilities guards. “We started strongly to purge forces regardless of their parties and names,” he said.