Iraqi forces must obey the law

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

THE Iraqi forces re­tak­ing Fal­lu­jah from Daesh (ISIS) have an ex­cep­tion­ally dif­fi­cult job, but that should not be an ex­cuse for them to op­er­ate out­side the law. They should know that by de­feat­ing Daesh they are help­ing to re­store a na­tional gov­ern­ment with the in­sti­tu­tional and in­clu­sive sta­bil­ity that should ex­ist in any state. And any gross vi­o­lence or abuse will not just be il­le­gal, it will also have a dis­as­trous political ef­fect as the peo­ple of Fal­lu­jah (and the whole of western Iraq) will draw their own con­clu­sions and see that the Iraqi gov­ern­ment and its forces do not have the peo­ple’s in­ter­ests at heart. If that hap­pens it is all too likely that the peo­ple of An­bar, Nin­eveh and Salah Al Din will refuse to give the state their al­le­giance, as they have done be­fore.

The prob­lem is that the forces do­ing the fight­ing are mainly Hashd Al Shaabi who are not for­mal Iraqi Army, but mili­tias that sup­port the gov­ern­ment and are also backed by Iran. Th­ese largely Shi­ite forces have failed to at­tract many Sun­nis, which makes them deeply sus­pect in the eyes of the peo­ple of Ra­madi and Fal­lu­jah who are over­whelm­ingly Sunni. Over­com­ing this Iraqi sec­tar­ian di­vide is Prime Min­is­ter Haider Al Abadi’s largest and most im­por­tant chal­lenge. There­fore, it is very dis­turb­ing that there have been re­ports of mili­ti­a­men ex­e­cut­ing 49 men from Fal­lu­jah, who had sur­ren­dered to the Iraqi forces. It is es­sen­tial that the Iraqi gov­ern­ment looks into the mat­ter and it is hope­ful that ar­rests have al­ready been made. Al Abadi must get the mes­sage out to the forces sup­port­ing his gov­ern­ment that ar­bi­trary de­ten­tion, tor­ture and ex­e­cu­tions are not ac­cept­able. Iraqi forces said that fight­ers have been at­tempt­ing to blend in with civil­ians who are es­cap­ing the be­sieged city. The Iraqi forces de­tain all men and boys to see if they are gen­uine civil­ians or not. They have ar­rested 500 sus­pected mem­bers of Daesh who should now stand trial in open court. — Gulf News

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.