Maliki offers amnesty to tribes fighting his army

Iraqi forces and mainly Shiite Muslim volunteers arrive in the predominantly-Sunni Muslim city of Samarra. (AFP)

Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Wednesday offered amnesty to tribes who are fighting his army but he excluded those he said had “killed and shed blood.”

“I announce the provision of an amnesty for all tribes and all people who were involved in actions against the state” but who now “return to their senses,” excluding those involved in killings, Maliki said in televised remarks.

The embattled Maliki’s offer is seen as an attempt to undercut support for the Islamist insurgents who have seized large swathes in Iraq’s Sunni heartland.

Maliki’s security forces folded under the weight of the initial rebel onslaught, in some cases shedding uniforms and abandoning vehicles to flee.

During his televised address, Maliki also said that he hoped to overcome the challenges blocking the formation of a new government, a day after the new parliament’s first session ended without agreement on top government posts.

“A state of weakness occurred but God willing in the next session (planned for next Tuesday) we will overcome it with cooperation and agreement and openness ...in choosing the individuals and the mechanisms that will result in a political process based on...democratic mechanisms,” Maliki said.

Sunnis and Kurds abandoned the first meeting of the new parliament after Shi’ites failed to nominate a candidate for prime minister. The Shi’ite parties are deadlocked over Maliki’s ambitions for a third term, and who would replace him, according to Reuters.

The new parliament adjourned Tuesday, with plans to meet one week later, if an agreement on posts was reached.

The United States, United Nations, Iran and Iraq’s own Shi’ite clergy have pushed hard for politicians to come up with an inclusive government to save the country after Sunni insurgents seized large stretches of territory north and west of Baghdad.

[With Reuters]
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:53 - GMT 10:53
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