The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Iraqi president calls for repeal of de-Baathification laws Open in fullscreen

Abd al-Aziz al-Taai

Iraqi president calls for repeal of de-Baathification laws

Masum said de-bathification was important for reconciliation (Getty)

Date of publication: 7 November, 2014

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
President Fuad Masum said an end to de-Baathification laws in Iraq would help bring national reconciliation and peace.

Iraqi president Fuad Masum called Thursday for the de-Baathification laws to be repealed and Baath party members not implicated in crimes to be rehabilitated and be allowed to work for the government.

Speaking at the Middle East conference for dialogue and reconciliation in Erbil, Masum said national reconciliation required the de-Baathification laws be repealed.

The law, known as the law of “accountability and justice”, had clearly been misused, Msum said, as it had been used against many innocent people, who had been banned from government employment. He added: “National reconciliation is the precursor to peace in the country, which is what we want in Iraq. Reconciliation is not a goal in itself, it is the way to achieve peace in the country.”

Masum has called previously for the law relating to the Commission for Accountability and Justice to be amended. He stressed the commission should focus on dealing with all issues fairly and equally, and said the work of the commission required careful oversight and auditing. The president also called for the commission to be impartial and free from all partisan political considerations and favouritism.

Several political parties have opposed the return of former Baathists to power, because of the key strategic alliance between some former Baathists with the Islamic state group (IS, formerly ISIS).

British newspaper The Independent said Bucca prison in Basra province, under the control of the British army after the 2003 Iraqi invasion, was the “unique setting that thrust together Saddam Hussein’s Baathist secularists and Islamic fundamentalists”, paving the way for an alliance between the two groups, and was the crucible for the formation of the IS. Future IS members learnt organizational and military skills from al-Qaeda and adopted the Baathists’ ideology of extreme violence.

According to the Independent, the Soufan Group, a strategic intelligence analysis company, found that IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi spent five years in Bucca prison, along with Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, thought to be second in command in al-Qaeda.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.     

Most Popular

Read More