<107130112"> Irak, pol int NYT 05-06-09
<107130113"> I dirigenti iracheni appoggiano le milizie, allargando la frattura con i sunniti
<107130114"> É la prima dichiarazione pubblica del nuovo governo iracheno in appoggio a gruppi armati settari a base etnica, un rifiuto implicito alla richiesta americana di dissolvere le milizie.
Le dichiarazioni sono avvenute durante una conferenza a cui hanno partecipato il primo ministro Ibrahim al-Jaafari, arabo sciita; il presidente Jalal Talebani, curdo e capo di milizie; Abdul Aziz al-Hakim capo del partito politico sciita fondatore della milizia nota come Organizzazione Badr.
La comparizione congiunta di Talabani e di leader sciiti sembra indicare che sciiti e curdi hanno raggiunto un accordo per il mantenimento delle rispettive milizie. Le milizie più forti sono le pesh merga dei curdi e una milizia sciita addestrata in Iran, accusata dai sunniti di averli attaccati.
Autorità irachene hanno comunicato che le milizie saranno poste sotto il controllo formale dei ministeri della Difesa e degli Interni; dirigenti curdi hanno però chiarito che i pesh merga rimarranno sotto il comando del governo regionale curdo, e saranno indipendenti da quello centrale. I due principali partiti curdi dispongono con 100 000 uomini, delle milizie più forti del paese.
Un portavoce americano del dipartimento di Stato ha dichiarato che le autorità americane non hanno più un ruolo nel decidere la politica sulle milizie.
Parlando della Organizzazione Badr con decine di migliaia di combattenti, Talebani ha dichiarato: «Voi e i pesh merga siete necessari e importanti per il sacro compito di creare un Irak democratico, federale e indipendente».
L’Organizzazione Badr, chiamata originalmente Brigata Badr, fu creata negli anni 1980 in Iran, dove i suoi capi si trovavano in esilio, e fu addestrata dai militari iraniani. Hakim fu nominato al suo comando dal fratello maggiore Muhammad Bakr al-Hakim, alla cui morte assunse la direzione del partito politico che creò la brigata Badr; nel 2003 da brigata essa si camuffò nominalmente assumendo il nome di Organizzazione, in risposta alla richiesta americana di smantellamento delle milizie. Essa rimase armata e continuò ad operare in tutto l’Irak, in particolare nel cuore sciita del Sud.
La Badr è stata recentemente accusata da dirigenti arabo sunniti di aver ucciso eminenti religiosi e laici sunniti. Tra le maggiori voci di accusa Harith al-Dhaarim, leader dell’Associazione degli studiosi musulmani, potente gruppo di religiosi sunniti che rappresenterebbe 3000 moschee.
I dirigenti arabo-sunniti hanno chiesto l’assegnazione di altri 25 seggi, oltre i 2 già ricoperti, nel comitato per l’Assemblea Nazionale, incaricata di redigere al Costituzione.
Il comitato non soddisferà molto probabilmente la richiesta, dato che i curdi, come i sunniti circa 1/5 della popolazione irachena, dispongono di soli 15 seggi. NYT 05-06-09
<106535209"> Leaders of Iraq Back Militias, Widening Rift With Sunnis
By EDWARD WONG
BAGHDAD, Iraq, June 8 – The rift between the Iraqi government and hostile Sunni Arabs widened further on Wednesday as the country’s leaders came out in support of ethnic and sectarian militias that Sunnis fear could be used against them.
Top Sunni Arab leaders also demanded that a 55-member committee that is to begin writing a new constitution add at least 25 Sunni seats with full voting powers. There was no immediate response from the Shiite-led committee, but in recent days its members have proposed adding 12 to 15 nonvoting seats for Sunni Arabs.
The announcement regarding militias was the first time the new government had publicly backed armed ethnic and sectarian groups, and it was an implicit rebuke to American officials, who have repeatedly asked that the government disband all militias in the country. The largest militias are the Kurdish pesh merga and an Iranian-trained Shiite militia that Sunni leaders have blamed for attacks against them.
The remarks were made at a morning news conference that was attended by Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a Shiite Arab; President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd and a militia leader himself; and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the Shiite political party that created the Iranian-trained militia, known as the Badr Organization. The briefing was held in Mr. Hakim’s headquarters to mark his militia’s second anniversary in the new Iraq and to rebut recent criticisms of the Badr from Sunni leaders.
The joint appearance of Mr. Talabani and the Shiite leaders seemed to indicate that Shiite and Kurdish leaders had reached an understanding that their respective militias should continue to exist.
Iraqi officials say the militias will be placed under the nominal control of the Defense and Interior Ministries. Kurdish leaders have consistently made clear, however, that the pesh merga will actually remain under the command of the Kurdistan regional government and, for all practical purposes, will be independent of the central government .
In Washington, Sean McCormack, a State Department spokesman, said Wednesday that American officials no longer played a role in determining the policy on militias.
“I have to emphasize this is an Iraqi issue that they will decide and that they will deal with,” he told reporters. “But we will continue to work closely with them in the training of Iraqi forces.”
Amid the political maneuvering, the Sunni-led insurgency ground on, with the American military announcing that four soldiers had been killed in various attacks in northern Iraq on Tuesday and Wednesday. There were also sketchy and unconfirmed reports of the kidnapping of 22 Shiite soldiers in the rebellious western desert region of the country.
A car bomb exploded in a line of drivers outside a gas station in the city of Baquba, killing three people and wounding one, an Interior Ministry official said. Two bodyguards of a National Assembly member were shot dead in Baghdad, while a police officer was killed in the capital, and another was assassinated in Mosul, the official said.
The Badr Organization has recently become a target of some Sunni Arab leaders, who have blamed it for the killings of prominent Sunni clerics and others. Among the group’s harshest critics is Harith al-Dhari, leader of the Muslim Scholars Association, a powerful group of Sunni clerics that says it represents 3,000 mosques.
Indeed, from the time the Badr militia entered Iraq from Iran during the American-led invasion, Sunnis have blamed its fighters for assassinations across the country, especially the killings of former Baath Party officials.
The two main Kurdish parties together have the strongest militia in the country, a force of 100,000 fighters known as the pesh merga, or “those who face death.” In negotiations with the Shiites to assemble the current government, Kurdish leaders argued vehemently that the Kurds, as part of their right to broad autonomy, must be allowed to keep the pesh merga intact.
“You and the pesh merga are wanted and are important to fulfilling this sacred task, to establishing a democratic, federal and independent Iraq,” Mr. Talabani said at the news conference, speaking of the Badr Organization, which numbers in the tens of thousands.
The Badr Organization has its own guarantee that it will remain intact, since the new interior minister, Bayan
Jabr, is a former Badr officer.
The Badr Organization, originally called the Badr Brigade, was founded in the 1980’s in Iran, where its leaders were living in exile, and it received training from the Iranian military. Mr. Hakim was appointed its leader by his older brother, Muhammad Bakr al-Hakim. When the elder Mr. Hakim was killed in a suicide car bombing in Najaf in August 2003, his brother took charge of the political party that gave birth to the Badr.
In the summer of 2003, the Badr Brigade changed its name at a time when American officials with the Coalition Provisional Authority were urging the dissolution of all militia. Its leaders claimed publicly that it had been transformed into a purely political and civil organization. But they said repeatedly in interviews that it was still armed and was active in cities across Iraq, particularly in the Shiite heartland of the south.
One of the most intractable problems for the new government is how to lessen the deep-seated feelings of disenfranchisement among the formerly ruling Sunni Arabs. The Sunnis largely boycotted the January elections and are mostly shut out of the political process. Shiite and Kurdish leaders, at the urging of the White House, are trying to bring in more Sunnis, especially into the process of writing the permanent constitution, whose first draft is due by Aug. 15.
Sunni Arab leaders asserted Wednesday that they wanted at least 25 additional seats on the committee of the National Assembly assigned to draft the constitution. There are now two Sunni Arabs on the Shiite-dominated committee.
The committee is likely to resist the demands of the Sunnis, since it now counts only 15 Kurds in its ranks. Kurds, like the Sunni Arabs, make up roughly a fifth of the Iraqi population.
Alaa Meki, an official in the Iraqi Islamic Party, a powerful Sunni group, said in an interview that the Sunni leaders were ready to submit 25 names to the committee to be accepted as “full members, not as advisers.”
The International Crisis Group, a prominent conflict-resolution organization, released a study Wednesday saying the National Assembly should immediately invoke the option of a six-month delay on the draft deadline of the constitution partly to make the process more inclusive. The assembly should then lay out a detailed timetable for completing the first draft, the study said.
Joost R. Hiltermann, the report’s author, said in an e-mail message that the haggling over Sunni positions on the committee “could go on for a while” and is “all the more reason to postpone, but only with a detailed timetable.”
Copyright 2005 The New York Times