Al-Maliki’s Consideration To Step Down Will Save Iraq From War – Ekwueme

An international lawyer, Dr Khrushchev Ekwueme, believes that Iraq’s Prime Minister’s consideration to step down and pave way for the formation of a broad-based government … Continue reading Al-Maliki’s Consideration To Step Down Will Save Iraq From War – Ekwueme

Khrushchev EkwuemeAn international lawyer, Dr Khrushchev Ekwueme, believes that Iraq’s Prime Minister’s consideration to step down and pave way for the formation of a broad-based government of national unity will save Iraq from war.

Giving his opinion on the crisis in Iraq and the necessary sacrifice to make in a bid to end the crisis, Dr Ekwueme said the strategy for finding a solution is for the broad-based government to encompass the Sunnis and the Kurds and all other interest groups.

He said that the strategy would ensure that the problem was dealt with in a pacific way.

“Iraq is in a brink of war and the Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, needs to step down so that a fresh face can come in and bring the people together. It must be someone new that can form a broad-based government.

“Al-Maliki is part of the problem. The way he ran Iraq was not the proper way to rule because he was guided more by sectarian considerations and he was not an inclusive leader. He denied the Sunnis of various opportunities and the coalition was not a broad-based one,” he said on Diplomatic Channel, a Channels Television programme.

There was heavy fighting in Iraq over the weekend, as government forces tried to retake the northern city of Tikrit from Sunni insurgents, who have seized it on June 11.

There are reports that there were many casualties on both sides. But the circle gets wider on international involvement into the crisis.

Battle For Tikrit

The Sunni insurgents have made it clear, they will not be giving up the city without a fight.

Earlier on Sunday, they brought down an army helicopter over the city, as the military sent in tanks to try to dislodge them.

Troops supported by helicopter gunships, began the assault on Tikrit, the birthplace of former President, Saddam Hussein, on Saturday, to try to take it back from the insurgents.

Army spokesperson, Qassim Atta, claimed security forces had killed 142 ‘terrorists’ over a 24 hour period, across Iraq, including 70 in Tikrit. He also said the armed forces were in control of Tikrit’s University.

Meanwhile, as the country’s politicians are pressured into reaching agreement for talks on a new government, the National Coalition, a key bloc, led by former Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, said they would not be taking part.

The group said it would not attend the first session of parliament either. The parliament was elected in April, but is supposed to begin the process of government-formation on July 1, except the country’s security situation is dealt with.

Wading into the crisis, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, threw his support behind a call for independence of the Kurdish people.Iraq crisis

The Kurds have seized on recent sectarian chaos in Iraq, to expand their autonomous northern territory to include Kirkuk, which has vast oil deposits that could make the independent state economically viable.

However, Iran’s supreme leader, the grand Ayatolah Ali Khamenei, has warned of attempts to create sectarian war in Iraq.

During a televised speech, which was broadcast on state television, he attributed the current situation in Iraq to a remaining core Saddam Hussein regime, deposed in a US-led invasion in 2003.

A New Inclusive Government

Party leaders in Iraq, are already planning talks that could end Prime Minister al-Maliki’s divisive rule after a the grand Ayatolah al-Sistani called for a new Prime Minister to be chosen without delay to tackle Islamist rebels threatening to tear the country apart.

Major powers are pushing for Iraq to form a new inclusive government, rather than one that promotes Shi’ite sectarian domination.

The influential grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani has urged political blocs to agree on the choice of a new prime minister, parliament speaker and president, before a newly elected legislature meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday. This could lead to the end of Nouri al-Maliki’s tenure as prime minister.

While thousands continue to flee region where the fighting is intense, Britain has once again emphasised it will not be intervening militarily in the crisis in Iraq, save to continue to call for Prime Minister al-Maliki, to form a new, inclusive government.

During a recent visit to Iraq, the British Foreign Minister, William Hague, met with Mr Al-Maliki, as well as with Kurdish leaders. He says Iraqis themselves must call to form a new government to address the threat of Isil.

Iraq’s million-strong army, trained and equipped by the United States, seemed powerless in the north, in the face of the Sunni/Isil onslaught.

But in recent days, government forces have been fighting back, relying on elite commandos flown in by helicopter to defend the country’s biggest oil refinery at Baiji.