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Iraq faces increasing violence as political unrest escalates | Stories

Baghdad, Iraq The threat of violence is mounting in Baghdad this week, highlighting the difficulties faced by Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, the country’s top parliament, in an effort to establish a majority government after the October elections.

In a recent spate of attacks on the Iraqi capital in just a few days, Sunday’s twin explosion hit two Kurdish-affiliated Kurdish banks in central Baghdad in Karrada, leaving two people injured.

This comes two days after a right bomb was dropped on the Taqaddum party headquarters, led by Speaker Mohammed Halbousi. Hours later, a similar attack took place in the office of Khamis al-Khanjar, a Sunni politician.

And on January 13, a rocket attack heading to the US embassy in the Green Zone is highly protected from injuring several civilians, including a child and a woman.

An explosion incident outside the Kurdish Cihan Bank in Karrada [Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP]

There were no reports of any wrongdoing on the issue, which took place a few days after the first parliamentary hearing on January 8, when chaos reigned and there arose a dissension. A dramatic rally, which saw Halbousi re-elected with the support of the Sadrist Movement and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) – despite al-Sadr’s opponents’ opposition – set the stage for a long-running political dispute to elect a new president. is the prime minister.

The analysts say the increase is a testament to al-Sadr’s intentions to form a government that will, to some extent, impede the sharing of power with religious groups formed after the United States-led coup that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.

It is known that in the camp, the system divides the power and resources of the state between three Iraqi religious groups and ethnic groups – Shia, Sunni and Kurdish – but has remained ridiculed by opposers who in recent years have taken to the streets in search of a complete overhaul of national politics.

Since his strong election in October, al-Sadr has reiterated his commitment to forming a “music government”, setting aside the Shia Coordination Framework, which includes statistics such as former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, one of Sadr’s former enemies. and the alliance of Fatah, a political party with a pro-Iranian militant militant group that lost a lot of votes.

“Most governments can be a reliable and efficient government with clear functions, expectations and responsibilities,” said Kamaran Palani, a researcher at the Middle East Research Institute. “However, this idea is being rejected by the Coordination Framework and any larger group except Sadr.”

Some Iranian freedom groups have already warned of increased violence if Sunni and Kurdish groups decide to join al-Sadr’s camp.

But al-Sadr – a former leader of the Mahdi militant group, a powerful army that fought the US military during Iraq’s occupation of Iraq and has been a major figure in sectarian tensions – stood up.

“Nowadays, there is no place for sectarianism or racism, but for most of the country where the Shias protect the rights of minorities, Sunnis and Kurds,” al-Sadr, whose party won 73 seats in the election, wrote a day earlier. the first sitting of parliament.

“Today there is no war zone, and everyone should support the military, police and security forces.”

‘There are no better alternatives’

Defending the Sunni and Kurdish allies, al-Sadr continues the path of sectarian divisions such as Fatah, which, until recent elections, had unquestionable influence in Iraqi politics. If al-Sadr was able to form a coalition government with Sunni and Kurdish allies, al-Maliki State Party of Law and Fatah could be ousted from the opposition – a devastating blow.

Investigators say such tensions between Iraqi Shia groups have never occurred, and if the al-Sadr or Shia Coordination Framework were pushed aside, retaliation would be inevitable.

“In all these cases, the four sides will not try to overthrow the government with legal and political weapons but will grow significantly,” warned Lahib Higel, an Iraqi expert on the Crisis Group.

“Political killings between Shia parties and the military hav[e] it has already happened and can be more and more well-known. ”

Faced with the problem of instability, some ordinary people in Iraq say a majority government can bring about a necessary response, which has not been done under the existing tense system.

“I am not a supporter of al-Sadr, but in the meantime, I would like to see more governments led by him because we have no other options,” said Ahmed al-Haddad, a Baghdad resident.

“Furthermore, if they create a new government and create chaos in the country, they will have no excuse for the next election.”

However, not all are ready to form a central government in a country plagued by powerlessness and sectarian violence.

“What makes the government more stable is the resilience,” said Hamzeh Hadad, an Iraqi politician. But the recent election of speaker and parliamentarians shows that we are far from a party-building solution, as long as the parties follow religious paths that will not win the election.

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