Sunni and Shia Muslims unite over nomination for Iraqi PM
Kim Sengupta & Thair Shaikh | April 22
Independent – The largest parliamentary bloc in Iraq, the Shia-dominated United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), agreed yesterday to nominate the veteran politician Jawad al-Maliki as Prime Minister.
The nomination clears the way for a new government after opposition by Sunni Arab and Kurdish leaders to Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari serving a second term.
Mr Jaafari agreed, after weeks of resisting calls by the US and Britain, among others, to step down. He had been accused of fuelling the sectarian violence, which has led to a near civil war.
Mr Maliki, an ally of Mr Jaafari, will face the task of putting together a national unity government to try to stem that violence.
Once the president is approved by parliament, he will designate Mr Maliki to form a government within 30 days. Politicians must then approve each member of the Government by a majority vote.
Leaders of the seven parties that make up the Shia alliance agreed Mr Maliki’s nomination yesterday and Sunni and Kurdish politicians signalled that they would accept him. Mr Maliki, a leader in the Dawa Party, spent years living in Shia-dominated Iran during Saddam Hussein’s rule. He joined the Dawa Party, the main Shia opposition to Saddam’s rule, and was sentenced to death for his membership of the party.
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However, the positive political developments did nothing to dampen the violence across the country yesterday.
Six off-duty soldiers were kidnapped and killed in the northern city of Beiji. In Tal Afar, northern Iraq, a suicide car bomber detonated his vehicle near an Iraqi police patrol, killing six people and wounding 11.
Meanwhile in Mosul, four policemen and a member of the public were killed and 11 policemen wounded when two roadside bombs targeting police patrols exploded separately in the Qadisiya district of Baghdad.
Iraqi lawmakers signal breakthrough in selecting PM
Baghdad | April 20
CNN – Iraqi lawmakers decided to postpone a parliament session set for Thursday till Saturday amid a possible breakthrough over the contentious issue of the prime minister’s post.
Acting speaker Adnan Pachachi said the delay will help politicians succeed in forming a national unity government, a sought-after but elusive goal.
Iraqi Troops Move to Tame a Sunni District in Baghdad
Kirk Semple | Baghdad | April 18
NYT – Iraqi troops faced sporadic small-arms fire for the second day in a row as they pushed block by block through the predominantly Sunni Arab neighborhood of Adhamiya on Tuesday and sought to tame a local show of armed force and resistance.
The neighborhood, a bastion for some hard-line Sunnis hostile to the Shiite-led national government and their American counterparts, remained sealed within a perimeter cordon of Iraqi and American forces. Residents remained indoors for most of the day.
U.S. arming of Iraqi police skates close to legal line
Washington Â¦ April 16
AP – U.S. officials are doling out millions of dollars of arms and ammunition to Iraqi police units without safeguards required to ensure they are complying with American laws that ban taxpayer-financed assistance for foreign security forces engaged in human-rights violations, according to an internal State Department review.
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