First Published: 2012-12-28

 

The Failed State Under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki

 

By removing the few existing independent bodies and demonstrating little interest in delivering good-governance, Al-Maliki is keeping Iraq amongst most failed and corrupt states, opines Aziz Ahmad.

 

Middle East Online

Over six years in office, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has proven to be incapable of providing basic security and services to the people. By openly advocating a conflict between Kurds and Arabs, he is threatening the territorial integrity of Iraq and the success of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Nouri al-Maliki is deliberately undermining the prospects of a prosperous Iraq by threatening oil and gas supermajors against operating in Kurdistan, withholding their revenues at ransom and barring them from auctions; his foreign policy is a disaster, providing blatant support for Bashar al-Assad’s regime and his bloodshed while weakening ties with Iraq’s largest trading partner – Turkey; in the armed forces he openly incites and promotes sectarianism and segregation in the mindset of a fragile people.

The recent unconstitutional creation of an overarching Tigris (Dijla) Operations Command Centre to oversee the internal security affairs of the Northern provinces is a stark reminder of the previous regime for our people; al-Maliki also accuses our leadership of harassing local Arabs and other ethnic minorities by piling our security and intelligence officers into the largely Kurdish areas outside of our region - inaccurately referred to as disputed territories. By way of a twisting media campaign al-Maliki and his associates are masking failures by shifting attention towards the largely peaceful Kurdistan Region.

By removing the few existing independent bodies and demonstrating little interest in delivering good-governance, Al-Maliki is keeping Iraq amongst most failed and corrupt states. His harassment and marginalisation of political partners and opponents, including Sunni-Arabs, has destroyed any hopes of national reconciliation, leaving the country in complete political stalemate.

The Kurdistan Region has proven to be a genuine partner in building a safe and prosperous Iraq. In fact, despite US involvement the Iraqi government has refused to provide our local security apparatus access to their criminal records database in the past – a move to help information-sharing and stem violence. In a rare interview with al-Arabiya recently, Masrour Barzani, Director of the Kurdistan Region Security Protection Agency and National Security Advisor, said that al-Maliki is making an 'unforgivable mistake' by inciting tensions amongst Kurds and Arabs, underlining the need for the premier to address demands for services, not mass thousands of troops against the safest part of Iraq.

The agency plays a key and covert role in creating an atmosphere that encourages foreign governments to distinguish official travel advice to the Kurdistan Region from other parts of Iraq; increasing direct flights to our international airports; allowing westerners and diplomats to roam our cities with limited security detail; the United Nations electing to ease its rigid security regulations across our three provinces; and above all it allows our children to attend school without parental concerns about their personal safety. It has completely eradicated Al-Qaeda offshoots from our region and has imprisoned its members – groups that have staged deadly attacks in Iraq this year.

It also cooperates with western governments in apprehending most wanted criminals, works with Interpol to ensure this region does not become home to terrorist cells, and has thwarted attacks against our peaceful communities. These measures enable us to be home to tens of thousands of families fleeing from chaos in Syria and other parts of Iraq, including minority Christians; allows us to be amongst the fastest growing economies, attracting unprecedented investment and trade as investors choose our region over the South, and paves the way for stronger ties with the international community through partnerships – all for the betterment of Iraq.

This month the US Federal Aviation Administration cited ‘increased stability’ in the Kurdistan Region to lift their 16-year-old ban on commercial flights by US carriers to Iraq, allowing flights only into Erbil and Slemani international airports – not Baghdad.

Senior officials in Baghdad should be petitioning our leaders, specifically Masrour Barzani, to exchange intel and expertise to rid the country of increasing violence, not stand united behind an emerging authoritarian man.

Al-Maliki is advocating a divide that will be difficult to undo. The continuation of his authoritarian policies against the Kurds and key political forces leaves him with few challenges as the President of Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, has publicly declared the refusal to stay in a centralised or dictatorial Iraq.

We are a part of this country and should not abandon Baghdad for al-Maliki to rule single-handedly. The Kurdish leadership must recognise, however, that to those in Baghdad their unity is far more potent than our one-sided promotion of the Kurdish-Shia political alliance; the same politicians in al-Maliki's coalition condemning him of dictatorship have joined forces with him in the disputed provinces to compete in upcoming provincial elections.

The status quo requires strategic changes in our approach in Baghdad if we are to continue being a part of this country, including revisiting our political partnership with the largely-Shia Iraqi National Alliance.

Aziz Ahmad is a Kurdish writer based in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq. He is a graduate of Royal Holloway, University of London.

 

Vote or boycott: Grim record of self-serving politicians puts off voters in Tunisia

Egypt universities tighten security to avoid new Islamist violence

Syria Kurds show impressive resistance to ‘Islamic State’ in Kobane

Rise of Shiite militias challenges government authority in Iraq

Cultural heartland of Al Ain hosts night of Emirati musical heritage

From traditional military to counterinsurgency force: Syria army grows more capable

South Sudan rivals accept 'responsibility' for civil war

British drones in Iraq also used for Syria surveillance

Turkey launches new wave of wire-tapping arrests

Iran forces inside Iraq as Abadi rules out foreign ground intervention!

South Sudan rivals meet in new bid to end civil war

From Morocco into Spain: Crowd of African migrants charges to border fence

Deadly suicide attack targets Shiite mosque in central Baghdad

Turkey gives Iraq Peshmerga forces passage to Kobane

Israel to supply Egypt with natural gas despite sabotage

Kerry seeks help of Southeast Asia in anti-Islamic State push

Qaeda inflicts heavy losses on Huthi rebels in central Yemen

US carries out first weapon airdrops to Kurd fighters near Kobane

Benghazi violence kills 75 people in five days

Morocco accuses Algeria of firing on civilians across border

Australia finalises deal for deployment of Special Forces to Iraq

Tunisia calls on Libya authorities to locate missing journalists

Turkey rejects calls to arm ‘terrorist’ Kurdish party in Syria

Western powers threaten sanctions against hostile actors in Libya

New deadly terrorist attack targets Egypt army in Sinai

‘Islamic State’ suffers heavy losses in Syria battleground of Kobane

After full formation of Iraq government, time comes to visit Iran

UN appeals for four-day truce in Western Libya

Gaza tunnel collapses before demolition: At least 3 Egypt soldiers dead

Erdogan begins one-day visit to Afghanistan

After weeks of delay, Iraq gets new security ministers

Diplomats scold Turkey over ambiguous relation with Islamic State

Lebanon pleads for Iran military aid to fight Islamic State

Kurds repulse new jihadist attempt to cut off Syria town

Huthi rebels meet fierce resistance in Yemen Sunni areas

Former Iraqi pilots train IS to fly Syria fighter jets

Two Millstones Drowning America into Premature Oblivion

Iraqi forces launch anti-IS operation north of Tikrit

Ben Ali cohorts planning comeback in Tunisia polls

Battle for Libya's Benghazi heats up

Kurdish fighters still holding out in Syria's Kobane

Russia denies agreed with US on IS intelligence-sharing

Saudi’s National Commercial Bank to offer $3.6 billion IPO

Qaeda counters advancing rebels with Yemen town seizure

Iran warns Saudi cleric death sentence could escalate tensions