Iraq’s PMU militia to reinstate 30,000 members

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At least 30,000 former members of Iraq’s state-sponsored Popular Mobilization Unit (PMU) militia (Hashed-al-Shaabi), are to be reinstated and receive their salaries, the pro-Iranian paramilitary network announced Monday.

The announcement, which came weeks before the country’s October 10 parliamentary elections, follows months of demonstrations by ex-members whose jobs had been terminated.

Ahmad Assadi, a leader of the PMU’s bloc in parliament, said in a statement the finance ministry had given the green light for the reintegration of 30,000 members into the force, which operates formally under the umbrella of Iraq’s security apparatus.

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Most of them had been sacked between 2015 and 2018, Assadi told AFP, with absenteeism the most common cause.

The PMU, set up in 2014 to back up the Iraqi army against ISIS terrorist organization, has more than 160,000 members and is comprised of dozens of mostly pro-Iran Shia groups.

Faleh al-Fayyad, a senior PMU official, said on television that the organization would use its own funds to finance the rehiring operation and urged the government to re-enroll others who had been laid off.

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