Iraq on verge of civil war, head of Arab league fears

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Saturday, October 8, 2005

The flag of Iraq, 2004-present.

Amr Moussa, head of the Arab League, said a civil war in Iraq is looming, "... civil war could erupt at any moment, although some people would say it is already there."

"There are a lot of individuals now playing games with the future of Iraq, and there is no clear strategy, there is no clear leadership... We are now in a mission to bring people together," said Moussa.

Sunni Arab leaders met Saturday to discuss the possibility of a boycott of the up-coming referendum on the Iraqi draft constitution. The group came just short of calling for the boycott, and instead asked followers to vote "no" on October 15th referendum. They called on their followers to oppose the referendum "by all legitimate means."

The constitution was drafted by mainly Shia leaders, the majority in Iraq. The Kurdish leaders also supported the new constitution.

The Sunnis make up 20% of Iraq. They most likely fear a political movement that would allow the Shia and Kurds to control the government and lucrative petroleum industry.

Violent acts have been on the increase lately. Most carried out by suicide bombers targeting Iraq police and new recruits into the nations army.

UK Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy has also been expressing concerns over violence in Iraq. The most worrying was "the apparent breakdown in trust" between local authorities and UK troops.

These comments come after UK troops were attacked by a mob after they tried to free two soldiers who had been arrested. UK troops later broke into a Basra prison while looking for the two arrested soldiers. They were found later in houses, police had handed them over to Shia militiamen. Kennedy has also been pushing for the removal of troops from Iraq.

Other Arab countries have been expressing their concern over the violence in Iraq.

Amr Moussa told the BBC, "The situation is bad and our work now is to bring all communities together; we want to do something constructive."

Sources

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