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Iraqi government on brink of collapse following cabinet walkouts
Saturday, August 11, 2007 :The political survival of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is in doubt following the withdrawal from his cabinet of two political blocs that derive the bulk of their support from Iraq’s Sunni Arab population. A variety of sectarian and ethnic cliques in Baghdad are reportedly involved in discussion with the Bush administration over ousting Maliki and forming a new government when the Iraqi parliament resumes in September.
Five ministers from to the Iraqi Accordance Front (IAF) resigned their positions last Wednesday. On July 25, the IAF gave Maliki seven days to announce a major purge of Shiite militia members within the new Iraqi army and police, increased funding for government services in Sunni areas and the release of thousands of Sunnis detained in US and government prisons on suspicion of involvement in the anti-occupation insurgency. In their resignation statement, the Sunni ministers accused Maliki of “arrogance” and having “led Iraq to a level of misery it had not seen in modern history”.
The IAF functions as the political wing of the powerful Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS), an organisation of several thousand clerics who bitterly resent the loss of Sunni influence following the US overthrow of the largely Sunni-based Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein. Since 2003, Shiite fundamentalist opponents of Baath Party rule have dominated the various US puppet governments in Baghdad. The AMS regularly accuses the Shiite-led government of infiltrating Shiite militias into the security forces to murder Sunni opponents. It also alleges the government deliberately restricts services and reconstruction work in Sunni areas.Read More